Weeknight Cooking

How to Make Taramasalata

November  7, 2014

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: If you like salmon cream cheese, you'll love this salty and creamy fish roe dip from Eva Kosmas Flores at Adventures in Cooking.

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Taramasalata is a salty and creamy spread made from carp roe, stale bread, olive oil, and lemon juice. Think of it as the fish egg version of salmon cream cheese, but with no dairy and with a whipped and airy bread base. It's the ultimate fishy condiment, delightfully salty with rich, creamy undertones. This traditional Greek dip is used on bread and crackers, but I love incorporating it into sandwiches, wraps, burgers, bagels, and pretty much anything else that might normally call for cream cheese or mayonnaise.

The fact that it's ridiculously easy to make is almost as wonderful as the flavor. It takes all of 15 minutes, and most of that just involves dicing the shallot. The rest just involves blending the ingredients in a food processor until a purée forms. 

This a great recipe to make when you have stale leftover bread that sat out too long at a dinner party or uncovered on the counter for a night. Instead of throwing it away, get some vibrantly colored carp roe (it's intensely orange) and make this savory spread. You can usually find carp roe sold in glass jars at your local seafood market or eastern European deli.


Serves 8

8 slices day-old French bread, crusts removed

1/4 cup carp roe (tarama)

3 tablespoons diced shallot

3/4 cup quality extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Soak the bread in a cup of water for five minutes, then squeeze out the excess moisture and set it aside. In a blender or a food processor, blend the carp roe and onion together. Add the bread, 1/4 cup at a time, and process the mixture until it’s smooth. 

Drizzle in the olive oil in one small and steady stream while the mixer is still running. Do the same with the lemon juice and process until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. 

Empty the taramasalata into a small bowl, cover, and keep refrigerated.

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Eva Kosmas Flores 

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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An Oregon lass with a love for home-grown food.


Kukla November 8, 2014
I am making a similar delicate, airy, piquant and delicious spread, Salată de Icre, which is common in Romania and Bulgaria and is made with fresh pike or carp roe without any bread or other thickeners.
amysarah November 7, 2014
I love taramasalata - always wondered why it didn't catch on more here like, e.g., hummus or baba ganoush. Will definitely be making this.
inpatskitchen November 7, 2014
Love tarama!