Taramasalata With Homemade Pita Recipe
A creamy Greek dip from Gordon Ramsay’s World Kitchen. A staple Greek meze dish, taramasalata is easy to buy, but commercially produced taramasalata — invariably tainted pink with food colouring — tastes nothing like the real thing. Pure, homemade taramasalata has an intense flavour of smoked cod’s roe, which can be mellowed by adjusting the amount of olive oil. If desired, use a hefty amount of good olive oil to get a very smooth, creamy texture — much like a thick mayonnaise.
3-1/4 cups strong white flour, plus extra to dust
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 x 1/4 oz. sachets active dry yeast
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to oil the bowl
1-1/4 cups tepid water
2-1/2 thick slices of white bread, crusts removed
1/3 cup whole milk
7 oz. smoked cod’s roe
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
Juice of 1-1/2 lemons
Sea salt and black pepper
Scant 1-1/4 cups light olive oil
A little milk (if needed)
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
Pita Bread Prep
Step 1: Mix the flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the extra virgin olive oil and most of the water. Stir to bring the mixture together into a ball, adding a little more water as necessary to get a soft, but not sticky, dough.
Step 2: Tip out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for 10 minutes until smooth. Put the dough in a lightly oiled clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.
Step 1: Tear the bread into small pieces, place in a bowl, pour over the milk, and set aside to soak.
Step 2: Cut away any hard bits of skin from the cod’s roe, then place the roe in a food processor along with the garlic, lemon juice and a good grinding of pepper. Add the soaked bread and blend to a smooth paste. With the motor running, gradually trickle in the light olive oil through the funnel. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and add a touch more milk if the taramasalata seems too oily. Spoon into a bowl.
Step 3: When the pita dough has roughly doubled in size, punch it down and knead briefly on a lightly floured counter for a minute. Divide into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls. Let prove in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Step 4: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F and put two lightly oiled baking trays inside to heat. Roll each dough ball out into an oval, 1/8″ thick. Transfer to the warmed baking trays and bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes until puffed up and light golden in colour.
Step 5: Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the surface of the taramasalata before serving, with the warm pita breads.
Reprinted with permission from Gordon Ramsay’s World Kitchen (2010 Key Porter).