Who doesn’t love mayo? I use it in everything, though mostly as a base for something else. I’ll mix it with chipotles to make a dip for corn fritters or with herbs for green goddess salad dressing. Rarely do I just eat it on its own. Which is probably why I like taramsalata so much. It’s essentially mayo that is served with crackers. This Greek dip blends carp roe (fish eggs) with olive oil. Tarama, the actual carp roe, are bright orange and salted. Both the roe and the dip are sold in jars, usually in the cheese case.
The basic technique of making taramasalta is the same as mayonnaise, but the fish eggs are used in place of the chicken eggs. Starting with a spoon of tarama in the food processor, slowly drizzle in olive oil, until it becomes thick and pale orange. The flavor benefits from the addition of raw onions and lots of lemon juice. Most recipes will advise on blending in a slice of water-soaked bread (don’t ask me, I just do as I’m told). And Peter M. suggests also using a touch of smoked onion or liquid smoke. Since he is the authority on Greek food, I accept this as gospel.
1 slice bread
1 heaping tablespoon tarama
1 1/2 cups oil - all olive oil or a 50-50 blend of olive and canola
1/2 small onion
1/4 cup lemon juice
1. Soak bread in water. Squeeze it out.
2. Put bread and tarama in the basin of a food processor. Turn motor on and let run for 30 seconds.
3. Slowly, slowly drizzle in the oil. When it starts to thicken, add the lemon juice and onions. Continue processing until all the oil is added.
4. Let sit overnight.
5. Serve with crackers or crusty bread.