The weather is still freezing cold and it feels like most of Berlin has been struck down with colds and flu! But I am already thinking of sunshine and warm weather by booking our summer holiday – we are heading to Paxos, Greece! A tiny island where we will have a car to easily access beautiful beaches, staying in a little apartment with a terrace overlooking the sea and a 10 minute walk to the nearby village, Longos, known as the most beautiful of the villages on the island.
I always think Greek food gets an unfair reputation. In fact Greek cusine is one of the most unique in mediterranean flavours. It has the fresh fish such as octopus and squid that are made into wonderful pasta and risotto dishes or served with grilled vegetables, delicious meats such as lamb cooked in hearty stews with delicious, sweet, good quality tomatoes that you just can’t get as easily in the UK or Germany and of course the famous mezze with herby, delicious dips and tapas style dishes of stuffed vine leaves, olives, cheese and cured meats. It is simple but with good quality ingredients that combines both mediterranean and middle eastern flavours. To get me in the holiday spirit I recently made my own version of a much loved greek classic, taramasalata.
OK, so I should start off with the fact that this actually isn’t authentic taramasalata. Taramasalata, or also known as just tarama, is a greek/ mezze style dip made with fish roe, bread and olive oil. It is almost customary for a food blog or writer to lament the damage done to the reputation of taramasalata through the ready-made pots of this electric pink dip found in supermarkets. Yet I can’t help but have a great fondness for this bright pink ready made dip. Not only is the artifically coloured gloop going to literally brighten up your lunch but the sweet and salty taste is delicious. It is a reminder of when we take food that we have become so well accustomed to when on holiday and attempt to bring it back home. It is a miserable failure of tasting anything close to authentic but in return it is a taste of it’s own that we have come to love.
Saying that of course I am a bigger fan of the real deal. I have only actually had this a couple of times from a local greek deli, Risis, here in Berlin. It is creamy, salty and seasoned with plenty of lemon juice and pepper. Some make it with breadcrumbs or soft bread and mix it together to create a smooth dip. My favourite part is the fact it is drizzled with plenty of olive oil and perfect to dip in some fresh crusty bread.
Unfortunately fish roe isn’t that easy to buy in a supermarket. This version with smoked salmon is my simple go to recipe when I want that more authentic fresh, salty, fishy dip that still reminds me of the much loved bright pink versions found in supermarkets.
I serve this with some griddled pittas.
- 100g smoked salmon
- 150g soft cream cheese
- 70g crème fraîche
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tbpsn olive oil plus a bit for a final drizzle
- Pinch of sea salt
- Black pepper
- Add all the ingredients apart from the salt, pepper and lemon juice to a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper and put into a bowl. Drizzle with a final dash of olive oil and serve.