It is that time of year in Greece again. The big fasting period is approaching and its beginning is marked with Kathara Deftera (Clean Monday). On that day the food is special, people spend the day flying kites, dancing and eating taramosalata (fish roe dip made with olive oil and bread), olives, lagana (bread), shellfish, octopus and halva (you can read more about it here).
As this is a blog about the traditional Greek diet and food, I am always looking to make little tweaks here and there and make some recipes even healthier. I’ve been trying out some new ways for making taramosalata, and this one with whole wheat bread is outstanding. I have to say that I don’t like messing with traditional recipes if it is going change the taste drastically, but this recipe tasted great. The texture is a bit grainier compared to a taramosalata made with potato and the color is a bit tanner, but taste-wise there is not much difference.
The fat content is the same as with regular taramosalata, but you are getting more fiber from the whole grains then you would with just using regular white bread or potato. And remember this is good fat from the olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids from the fish roe. I also used a new food processor this time, making it a bit easier, particularly when adding the olive oil.
You can find the recipes for the traditional taramosalata as well as my mom’s recipe and its nutritional value by clicking here.
Whole Grain Bread Taramosalata
- 4 ½ ounces 130 grams whole wheat bread without the crust
- 4 tablespoons bread crumbs
- 2 ½ ounces 70 grams fish roe from carp or cod (do not get the pink kind)
- ½ small onion
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped dill
- Juice from 1 medium lemon
- Soak the bread in water. In the meantime, in a food processor start mixing the fish roe and onion.
- Squeeze all the water out of the bread and add to food processor, blend well, until there are no chunks of anything.
- Add the breadcrumbs and dill and blend until smooth.
- Add the lemon slowly while the food processor or blender is running.
- Add the oil very-very slowly. Almost drop by drop, you want the oil to be completely absorbed as you are adding it. You will use about ½ cup.
- Store in the refrigerator and let the flavors set in.
- Serve with bread or bread sticks and olives and white wine.
Hi Daphne, Thanks. The more opinions the better. Actually taramosalata and skordalia with potato are common in certain areas of Greece such as Patra as well as some islands. Also one of the oldest Greek cookbooks by Hrysa Paradisi which was first written in the 50’s includes potato as an alternative to bread. So it is not a U.S. Greek restaurant idea but another version of the recipe.
This is one of those things that varies from village to village. I remember, as a kid, traveling the US east coast to visit family and patrioti (non-relatives from my parents village. I loved their spanokopita and the way that they made it. At home, in our town populated with expatriates from many diverse parts of Greece, I thought my parents friends were clueless about making spanokopita.
Thanks for sharing Art. Yes there are so many delicious variations.
Please excuse my opinion on this subject: According to my experience growing up Greek, the taramosalata recipe with soaked bread is the authentic traditional recipe. It is far superior in taste to the one made with potatoes. I had never heard of one made with potatoes until I tasted it in Greek restaurants in the U.S. This is also true for the skordalia. It should only be made with ground walnuts, garlic, olive oil and soaked bread.