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Tarama

Some people like a bit of onion or garlic in their tarama. They don’t usually add them to versions I’ve had in Paris, but if you want to add them, use about 1/4 cup minced shallots or onions (red or white), in step 1 in place of the garlic. Not everybody uses garlic in their tarama and it does tend to compete a bit with the fish flavor. So you can leave it out if you want. But I like a small amount in there. It’s traditional to use codfish roe (eggs), which are harder to find in Paris than lumpfish roe, which I used. If you can find codfish roe – which are usually not tinted – feel free to use them. White pepper isn’t easily available, but adds a nice little bit of zip. You can leave it out or use black pepper, if you don’t mind the black bits. (I do, for some reason.) You can use a blender or food processor. I think it gets more whipped up, and thicker in a blender. If using a blender, you may need to stop it midway and scrape down the sides, as it may get too thick to incorporate all the oil.
  • 4 slices (90g) white bread, such as pain de mie
  • 1/2 cup (100g) fish roe, red or white
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable oil, such as canola or sunflower
  • Optional: 1 small clove garlic, peeled, green germ removed, and minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Trim the crusts from the bread, break into large pieces and put into a bowl. Cover with water then immediately grab them with your hand and squeeze most of the water out.
  • Put the bread, fish eggs, and garlic (if using) in a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Put on the lid. (If using a blender, remove the center cap, in the middle of the lid. A funnel put in the opening will prevent splattering. If using a food processor, remove the cylinder in the feeding tube.)
  • Turn the blender on to thoroughly combine the fish eggs and bread. Mix the olive oil and vegetable oil in a measuring cup with a spout. With the motor running on medium-high speed, drizzle the oil into the fish egg mixture in a slow, steady stream, until it’s all added. Add the lemon juice and white pepper. Taste, and add more lemon juice, if desired.
  • Scrape into a bowl and serve.

Notes

Storage: Tarama can be made up to five days in advance, and refrigerated, well covered. I think it actually gets better after it sits for a day or two, so feel free to make it in advance.