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Taramasalata Dip Recipe: A Traditional Greek Caviar Spread

I love Clean Monday (Kathara Deftera). I honestly do! And I will explain you why. Greece’s Carnival season is called Apokries, which literally means ‘no more meat’. Apokries traditionally starts ten weeks before Greek Orthodox Easter and culminates on the weekend before Clean Monday, the first day of Lent. This day is always a bank holiday in Greece. And this makes it a lovely long weekend. Three days that combine quite many different but enjoyable traditions. So, on the last Apokries’ Sunday Greeks of all ages party on the streets. They dress up in whatever they want and dance like there is no tomorrow. On Clean Monday, the first day of the lent, the party continues. But in a different way. On the day, Greeks go on the country sides, listen to traditional music, dance in circles, drink wine, fly kites and of course eat a lot of food. On Kathara Deftera, Greeks eat lagana, halva, olive oils, beans, sea food and of course taramasalata dip.

So, what is taramosalata? It is a traditional Greek appetizer (meze).Taramasalata (or taramosalata) is made from taramas and it is the traditional Greek caviar spread. In reality, taramas is the fish roe from cod or carp. Roe is mixed with either bread crumbs or mashed potato, lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. The outcome, depending if you use bread or mashed potato, is completely different. If you use bread, you get a creamy, but slightly grainy dip, whereas with potato, the taramosalata is creamier. For this taramasalata recipe, I have used bread crumbs instead of mashed potato.

Taramasalata is an appetizing dip to eat with bread or raw vegetables. Its color can vary from creamy beige to pink, depending on the type of roe used. However, If you ever buy this Greek spread from a grocery store, avoid pink taramasalata. Mass-produced taramasalata has often a bright pink due to the addition of food coloring. Having that in mind, it is much healthier to eat a homemade taramosalata! Taramosalata is not just delicious. It is also healthy. Fish roe is full of Omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C and Greek olive oil is rich in vitamin E and an excellent source of healthy fat and antioxidants.

This traditional taramasalata dip recipe is made from fish roe, olive oil, lemon juice, grated onions, and bread. There are, however, various versions of this taramasalata dip recipe which may include garlic, spring onions, or peppers, or vinegar instead of lemon juice.

Greeks like eating this taramasalata dip all year long. It is, however, popular, to eat it on Clean Monday, the first day of Great Lent. As a result, taramasalata is the dip Greeks prefer at Sarakosti.

Creamy and delicious, this mouthwatering taramasalata dip recipe serves 4 persons. It is truly easy to create as no cooking skills are required. Serve it as an appetizer with pita bread (just follow this Greek pita recipe in case you would like to make your own pita), hot bread or even lagana.

Taramasalata Dip Recipe

Taramasalata Dip Recipe – Ingredients

  • 200 g of white tarama (fish roe)
  • 1 white bread loaf (stale)
  • 1 ½ cup of Greek olive oil
  • ½ cup of lemon juice
  • 1 medium onion, grated fine
  • Greek olives
  • Parsley for garnish

Taramasalata Dip Recipe – Instructions

  1. Start this Greek taramasalata recipe by removing the crust from dry white bread loaf.
  2. Take a deep bowl and add water. Soak bread well in the bowl.
  3. Squeeze soaked bread well to remove excess water.
  4. Add the fish roe into a mixer and stir well.
  5. Add some lemon and the soaked bread. Continue mixing ingredients until all ingredients are unified.
  6. Follow these steps in the exact order: Add some virgin olive oil. Add some lemon juice. Stir the mixture.
  7. Continue the same steps until all ingredients become one mixture.
  8. Now, add onion. Stir well until it becomes creamy and smooth.
  9. Place taramasalata in a bowl.
  10. You can decorate it with some parsley and/or olives.
  11. Serve. Keep it refrigerated.

Hope you like this Greek taramasalata recipe! Check out my blog for more traditional Greek recipes. Enjoy and Kali Sarakosti!

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