The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Best homemade taramasalata recipe

Photo: Orchid

Photo: Orchid

Danny lips always go pleaty when I suggest taramasalata on pitta bread for a lunchtime snack.

Some might call this a benefit as I could eat a whole tub on my own. But even the smaller tubs are too much for a single sitting. It’s the sort of thing that I long for and then feel replete after a slice of laden pitta bread. The tub is pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten after my fix. Several weeks later it’s discovered by D on a fridge clearing binge. The thin lips as it is tossed into the bin say it all.

Last night I discovered three things. Firstly, homemade taramasalata as opposed to the most deluxe shop bought stuff is a secret that just has to be shared. Why has no one ever tipped me that this is taramasalta heaven?
The second point is that whoever suggested that tara ideally should be eaten with pitta bread had clearly never combined it with torn crusty soft white bread. A totally moreish revelation.

The third point is the D adores homemade tara. I took some upstairs on a hunk of a crusty handcrafted boule (very busy at the mo so I’m supporting the Tesco bakers). For the first time ever Danny shadowed me downstairs for more. Before I could photograph the Ambrosian concoction we had eaten the entire contents of the bowl.

I had bought some gorgeous oak smoked cod’s roe from River Farm Smokery. I Googled for recipes ideas and made mine in the food processor in seconds. Perhaps it was the groundnut oil (rather than sunflower) or the pinch of smoked sweet paprika that added a tiny frisson to the palate but the result was superb. This would be a wonderful appetiser and a great budget alternative to a smoked salmon starter on Christmas day. In fact D reckons it’s on a par with, if not better than, smoked salmon on brown Irish soda bread.

Homemade taramasalata recipe (for 4 as an appetiser)


  • 125g of smoked cod’s roe
  • 35g of white bread
  • Quarter of a fat clove of garlic
  • Pinch of smoked paprika
  • 3 dessert spoons of groundnut oil
  • 2 dessert spoons of virgin olive oil
  • 1 dessert spoon of fresh lemon juice


  1. Wet the bread under the tap and squeeze out the water place in the food processor.
  2. Chop the garlic very fine and add to the bowl.
  3. Remove the skin from the smoked cod’s roe and add to the bowl. Pulse to combine the ingredients.
  4. With the motor running add the oils a desert spoonful at a time. Finally add the lemon juice and a large pinch of smoked paprika. Serve with a crusty white boule for tearing.

  Leave a reply


  1. Gill Christodoulou

    Have made some homemade taramosolata and it’s now been in my fridge for 4-5 days. We’re eating just a little each day as it’s a bit strong but I know to put in more bread next time. It’s so easy to make really. How long should I keep it for please?? Thanks Gill

    • Always soak the Smoked Cods roe in milk for at least a few hours. Also remove all the skin. .Discard the milk.This helps remove any bitterness. This will usually keep for four or five days in the fridge if the roes were fresh.

  2. The only taramasalata I ever ate was homemade and it was lovely!!!

  3. Diane Epps

    Even shop bought tarama is improved by the addition of some good quality olive oil and some fresh garlic and a squirt of lemon juice. But you are right that you can’t beat home made.

  4. Michelle in NZ

    Yummo – haven’t had taramasalata for ages. Thanks for reminding me.

    For any of your readers with gluten or wheat intolerance – replace the bread with cold cooked potato. Is still yummo.

    • Debbie

      Thanks for that tip.
      I can’t eat wheat, and have problems with preservatives that tend to go in to shop bought gluten free bread, so will definitely give this a go!

  5. I love homemade houmus. to die for. I keep cans of chickpeas in the larder just for this. as the munchies can attack at any second and I have to have it. I keep pittas in the freezer and toast them. Hmmmm

  6. magic cochin

    I planned to call at the River Farm Smokery next week for some smoked eel – looks like I’ll also buy smoked cod’s roe!

    Thank you for the recipe!

  7. kate (uk)

    I still remember the first time I had smoked cod roe- spread on buttered matzo- one of the great food taste moments of my childhood! Well done for finding the smoked cod roe, not easy to get hold of, you have prompted me to try to get some too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.

2,241,093 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

Copyright © 2006-2023 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder