Taramasalata with sweet pickled cucumber and dill

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Shaun Rankin shares his recipe for taramasalata, the classic Turkish and Greek meze made from smoked cod roe, garlic and plenty of fresh lemon juice. The finished taramasalata should have a creamy beige colour, unlike store bought varieties, which are often bright pink through the addition of food colouring.





Sweet pickled cucumber


  • 4 slices of sourdough bread
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil

To plate


  • Food processor or blender
  • Large sterilised jar


Soak the breadcrumbs in milk. While soaking, blend the garlic with the roe, mustard, salt and water in a food processor. Drain the breadcrumbs and add to the food processor
Blend the mixture, slowly adding the grapeseed oil a little at a time, then add the olive oil. Squeeze in the lemon juice and blend. Season to taste with white pepper, pour the mixture into a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate until needed
For the pickled cucumber, place the vinegar and sugar in a heavy saucepan, add the water and bring to the boil. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved and then take off the heat. Add the ginger, star anise and lime leaves and set aside until cool
Mix the cucumber and dill with the cold pickling liquid and leave the cucumber to pickle for at least 1 hour. Keep in a sterilised jar with a tight-fitting lid
To make the sourdough croûtes, heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the bread and fry on a medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side until the bread is golden and crunchy
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 4 slices of sourdough bread
To plate, boil an egg and separate the yolk from the white. Pass both separately through a fine sieve
Spoon the taramasalata into a serving dish and top with cubes of the pickled cucumber. Add a sprinkling of sieved egg yolk and egg white, scatter with paprika to taste and a pinch of chopped chives. Serve with the croûtes

Shaun Rankin’s cooking exudes effortless self-confidence.

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