Salted cod-roe dip dates back to the ancient Greeks who were fond if it and now it is it is the most famous Greek dip of all and ubiquitous in supermarkets worldwide.
For the Greeks, being made primarily of cod roe and bread, it was originally eaten over lent on Clean Monday as no meat or dairy is allowed. Now it forms part of meze enjoyed whenever you like, at home, at a restaurant or taverna.
30g salted cod-roe (tarama) *or* a combination of 20g of salted tarama and 10g of smoked cod’s roe.
45g (6 slices) stale white bread
1 shallot of 25g onion, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon (2 1/2 tablespoons)
120 ml sunflower or vegetable oil or very light extra- Virgin olive oil.
A few black olives
A small handful of flat-lead parsley, finely chopped.
If using smoked cod-roe, take the skin off and break it into small pieces.
Cut the crusts from the bread and discard.
Soak the bread in a small bowl of water for 2-3 minutes, take it out and squeeze most of the water out.
Liquidise the onion in the electric blender for 1-2 minutes until it becomes a smooth paste, then add the soaked bread, half of the lemon juice and half if the oil and the salted it the combined mixture of tarama and blend slowly at first and then faster for a further 2 minutes until all the ingredients are amalgamated well.
Now add the rest of the oil and Lenin juice and water alternates, little by little as if making mayonnaise until the mixture is very pale pink and the texture is creamy, light and fluffy.
Serve in a small bowl or a platter, with black olives and sprinkled with parsley.
Enjoy with wholemeal or white pitta bread.
*To make the traditional way:* With a large wooden mortar and pestle, pound the tarama, the bread and the onions for 5 minutes or until well mixed and the mixture is smooth. Slowly add the lemon juice and the oil alternately and pound for 5 more minutes. Add a little cold water if the mixture is too thick or more bread if too thin and pound again to mix well.
Photographs ©Peter Broadbent.