Taramosalata is a Greek meze made from tarama, the salted roe of the cod, carp or grey mullet mixed with plenty of olive oil, lemon juice, maybe some vinegar and a starchy base which usually is mashed potatoes or stale bread.
Inspired by the traditional recipe, I created a vegan taramosalata recipe, which tastes like the real thing but it is totally cruelty-free. Actually the taste is so similar to the original stuff that probably no one will ever realize that it does not contain animal-derived ingredients.
In order to achieve the plant-based seafood flavor I used nori – my favorite edible seaweed which provides us also some valuable nutrients – and flaxseed oil that is very rich in omega-3s (but you probably know that already). These two ingredients, apart from being very healthy, they also give a nice summer flavor to the dish, reminiscent of seafood, making its taste very similar to the non-vegan taramosalata.
Taramosalata is prepared mostly during the Clean Monday and the subsequent Lent, but you may decide that its vegan version is very delicious to be eaten only once a year.
- ½ cup sunflower seeds or walnuts or cashews soaked for 2-4 hours
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes in oil
- 1 ½ cups stale bread (crusts removed)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons flaxseed oil
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons dried edible seaweeds (usually I use nori) coarsely chopped -or more for enhanced sea flavor
- ½ -1 tsp salt (depending on how salty our sun-dried tomatoes are)
- freshly ground pepper
1. Soak the seaweeds in a cup of hot water for 10-15 minutes. Drain them and keep the soaking water, as it retains all the flavors of seaweeds as well as a strong umami taste that will make your taramosalata unbeatable!
2. Cut the bread in cubes and soak in the water you’ve saved for 5 minutes. Strain and put aside.
3. Strain the nuts and blend in a blender together with the olive oil, the lemon juice and the vinegar for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
4. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and seaweed and blend for 2 more minutes, until you have a homogeneous mixture. Finally add the soaked bread and the flaxseed oil. Taste and add some salt, lemon or pepper if necessary. The sun-dried tomatoes and the bread I used were not salted and so I added about 1 tsp of salt to achieve the right taste. However most sun-dried tomatoes are very salty, so I would suggest a test before adding extra salt. However keep in mind that taramosalata has to be salty.
Note: Enjoy your vegan taramosalata as a meze or appetizer with fresh bread, preferably lagana bread, as Greeks do during Clean Monday! And don’t forget to add it in a sandwich with grilled vegetables and maybe the leftover lagana bread. It’s amazing!
Among the things that are almost always on our shopping list and of course in our kitchen are avocados. The reason? They are just amazing! Their dense, buttery flavor and their great nutritional value combined with their creamy texture makes them the most suitable and at the same time nutritious and healthy ingredients in countless vegan recipes.
Our favorite vegan, avocado dish is vegan tzatziki made with the flesh of ripe avocados, a recipe we enjoy quite often especially during summer, as well as the Greek salad with avocado. And since we love desserts, if we have plenty ripe avocados we use them in the most delicious way, making a delicate vegan chocolate avocado mousse that melts in the mouth and is 100% raw or a delectable chocolate vegan ice cream but also the raw vegan chocolate tart with avocado and coconut.
I am sure that each of you, at least those who love this particular fruit, will have at least one favorite vegan recipe based on avocados and I am sure that if we’ d put them together they would be hundreds! Such amazing fruit it is and I feel so grateful that it grows in our country as well!
Today, we combined a few ripe avocados with chickpeas and herbs to make a delicious, cool, rich, creamy salad, perfect for sandwiches or to accompany our meal. Here the avocados act as a “buttery” sauce that binds the materials together, extracts their aromas, highlights their flavors. The recipe is simple and fast. Just do not forget to mash the avocado with lemon and apple-cider vinegar to retain its fresh color.
(for 2-4 persons)
for the salad
- 1 + 1/4 cup boiled and drained chickpeas
- 1 celery sprig cleaned and chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 fresh onion finely chopped
- 2-3 tbsp pickled cucumber finely chopped
for the sauce
- 1 ripe medium sized avocado, peeled
- juice of 1/2 juicy lemon
- 1 tbsp apple-cider vinegar
- 1/2 – 1 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper
- optionally you can add a garlic clove finely chopped and 2-3 drops of tabasco sauce
- 8 slices of whole wheat bread, toasted
- 1 tbsp parsley finely chopped
1. Add the avocado flesh, lemon juice, apple-cider vinegar, salt and pepper in the blender and blend on medium speed until creamy.
2. With a fork mash the 1 cup of the chickpeas just a little bit, until all the chickpeas are crushed but not pureed. It’s nice to have some bigger pieces in the end. Keep the rest (1/4 cup) to garnish your salad.
3. In a bowl, mix all ingredients and taste in lemon and salt. Leave the salad in the refrigerator covered for at least one hour to cool, so that the aromas and tastes compine. Before you put it on the table garnish with the rest of the chickpeas and parsley.
4. Bake thin slices of bread and serve with the salad as an appetizer or make delicious sandwiches!
These days we are on vacation in Crete, the island with the scrumptious, juicy tomatoes and the fresh vegetables, the fluffy potatoes and the local avocados, the beautiful beaches and the warm sun! The amazing nature and the people here make me wanna spend most of the day outside, walking, swimming and talking and therefore the time left in the kitchen is minimal. However, this does not mean that we compromise on the taste and quality of our food. Simply, I choose to prepare easy, delicious and quick vegan recipes that do not require much preparation and are both nutritious and healthy.
One of them is a vegan version of the traditional Greek salad, made with potatoes and avocado. Actually this recipe is a variation of a mediterranean salad made by my grandmother during the summers, to which I replaced the animal ingredients with the delicious Cretan avocadoes and I also modified the sauce a little bit according to our taste. Although very simple in its preparation, this potato salad, which can be eaten as an accompaniment or as a light main course, is one of our favorite choices, especially when we are on vacation, when both the time and the cοoking equipment available are limited. Fortunately, all that is needed to create this recipe is freshly picked, organically grown ingredients and our happy mood 🙂
For the salad
- 2 medium ripe tomatoes cut into chunks
- 2 medium potatoes, cooked and cut into chunks
- 1 avocado peeled and sliced
- 2 medium or 1big cucumber peeled and sliced
- 1 red onion peeled and sliced
- 4 tbsp. capers or olives (or both!)
- 2-3 tbspfresh basil or spearmint leaves chopped
- 1 tsp. dried oregano, ground
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- freshly ground pepper
For the sauce
- 2-3 tbsp virgin olive oil
- 2 tbl. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. apple or grape vinegar
- 1 tbsp. prepared mustard
For serving (optional)
2 Cretan barley rusks (paximadia)
1. In a large bowl mix all the salad ingredients slightly before serving.
2. In another bowl, mix with a fork or a mixer the ingredients for the sauce. Pour over the salad.
3. Mix the salad well and serve over barley rusks or enjoy with your favorite bread.