Taramasalata with smoked trout (ταραμοσαλατα με καπνιστη πεστροφα)

Taramasalata is the benchmark by which I measure all Greek tavernas. My mother in law makes the best, voloptuously smooth taramasalata. It's always a mild beige colour and has a perfect balance of salty tarama and sharp lemon. No luminous hot pink gloop is to be found anywhere near her kitchen. And so, whenever we discover a new Greek taverna, the benchmark dish to order is, of course, taramasalata. How close it comes to Ma's tarama is the barometer for authentic homestyle cooking. 

As taramasalata is our litmus test, I am loathe to mess too much with Ma's classic recipe. However, I had a taramasalata novice coming to lunch. Squeamish at the idea of eating fish eggs, I took on the challenge of trying to convert my lovely friend to the taste of tarama. While Mr K could quite happily work his way through the pungent saltiness of a taramasalata that was basically just a flavoured roe (this is the man who regularly snacks on generous slices of avgotaraho [bottarga] with a squeeze of lemon), my friend would not. And so, I struck upon the idea of lessening the saltiness of the tarama with the addition of some smoked trout. This gave the dish a much a milder taste and a thicker consistency. Eh voila, my friend was a covert! 

The taramasalata was also a wonderful excuse to use a new find - and now one of my favourite Greek products - Elion extra virgin olive oil. This spectacular oil is early harvest and cold pressed within 6 hours of the olives being picked. It has a beautiful green colour and hails from the Peloponnese. Using a good quality olive oil is one of the keys to making a perfect taramasalata. In the best examples, you can taste the extra virgin olive oil with each savoury bite. While it enhances the taste of the dish, using a high quality extra virgin olive oil also enhances the health benefits of the dish. The Mediterranean diet hails using extra virgin olive oil, wherever possible, in its unheated state. This dish, combines that with plenty of omega 3 and vitamin D from the tarama and trout. 

Taramasalata with smoked trout (ταραμοσαλάτα με καπνιστή πέστροφα)


200g smoked trout

50g tarama (I use beach gold)

½ small red onion

100g stale, crustless bread (I use a rustic style spelt bread from my local Greek baker)

2-3 tbsp lemon juice

200ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve (I use Elion www.elion.net.au)


1. Finely grate the onion. 

2. Put the bread in a bowl, cover with cold water, then drain immediately and squeeze out the excess water.

3. Put the onion, bread, trout and roe in a mortar or a food processor and mash or pulse together until relatively smooth. Slowly add the lemon juice and oil until well combined, working the mixture all the time. Add more lemon juice to taste.

4. Place in the fridge and allow to firm up prior to serving. 

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Maira Gall