Bottarga is a delicacy of salted, pressed, cured and dried roe, usually of grey mullet but also sometimes, of tuna. The ingredient is used in Mediterranean food and is associated with Italian cooking, especially Sardinian cuisine.
The ingredient can be bought whole and used finely sliced or grated in a jar. We purchased ours grated from Fine Food Specialist.
It has a strong fishy flavour and so only needs to be used sparingly. It is advised that it be treated as a well-aged parmesan or as a replacement to dishes that call for anchovies. Here are five ways you can use bottarga in your cooking.
- The most common use is to sprinkle it on top of hot spaghetti with a drizzle of olive oil for a fishy kick to your pasta dish. This BBC Food recipe also adds squid and chilli to its spaghetti with bottarga, which might be nice to try, but we prefer to keep it simple.
- A very small amount sprinkled on top of scrambled eggs adds a salty punch to your breakfast. A little does go a long way though, so do use sparingly.
- It can liven up a salad or vegetable dish with it’s strong depth. In this recipe, roasted green beans are combined with bottarga shavings in a pairing that is described as ‘extraordinary’.
- Burrata, a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream, was served to us with bottarga in a restaurant in Paris (Le Jourdain – you can read the review here). The delicious combination of the creamy cheese and salty fish flavour was a real winner.
- The delicacy can be enjoyed on hot buttery new potatoes as a salty side dish, just make sure the main accompaniment will pair well with the pungent fishiness.
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