Aromatic greens cooked with roe and chile pepper recipe

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Sfouggato is the name given to various egg-based dishes throughout the Greek islands; some are essentially omelets, while others are more like croquettes. But among older Ikarians, sfouggato was a dish that called for quite a different egg than that of the hen: fish eggs, or roe, called tarama in Greek. According to Myrsina Roussou, a sharp-witted woman well into her eighties who recalled her father making this for his male friends, it was (and is!) “the meze for tsipouro [grappa].”

  • Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and tender green parts, chopped
  • 1 fresh green or red chile pepper (optional), seeded and chopped
  • ½ pound (250 g) sorrel, spinach, or chard, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped fresh wild fennel leaves
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh chervil or mint
  • 2 tablespoons Greek tarama
  • ¼ cup water
  • 8 thick slices (1 inch [2.5 cm]) country bread, preferably sourdough, optional
How to Make It
  1. In a large, wide pot or deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the chile pepper, if using, and stir all together.
  2. Add the sorrel (or spinach or chard), stirring until it wilts. Add the wild fennel, parsley, and chervil (or mint). Cook until all the greens are wilted.
  3. Dilute the tarama with the water and stir it into the greens. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until the mixture is thick and creamy. Serve, if desired, with grilled bread.
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