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Dec 18, 2004 02:50 PM

what to do with battarga?

  • c

A chef I know keeps giving me chunks of Battarga wrapped in wax (some kind of Italian fish roe, I think preserved in salt). The previous chef apparently had a thing for it and overstocked before he departed. I've grated it into salad and rice, and served it on crackers with oil and pepper per his instructions, now he gives me ANOTHER one for Christmas, does anyone have any experience with this stuff?? I don't know if it's some kind of Italian comfort food, personally I'd rather have caviar, but it would be nice to put out with all the other fish on Xmas Eve.

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  1. f

    You are lucky! I love bottarga. You can thinly slice it over pasta, beans, risotto (like you would truffles). Or shave it over tomato bruschetta. Use a vegetable peeler to get thin slices.

    Another great dish and very simple, from Paula Wolfert's "The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen." Slow roast cherry tomatoes in a 300 degree oven. Grate bottarga on coarse grater and toss with a bit of lemon zest and pepper and a little olive oil. Toss spaghetti with tomatoes and bottarga and drizzle with olive oil.


    1 Reply
    1. re: farmersdaughter

      Thank you so much! Actually, the chef had asked me what to do with it himself, so I will give him a copy of your letter!

    2. Grate it over spaghetti that's been tossed with excellent olive oil and chopped fresh parsley.


      2 Replies
      1. re: Tom Meg

        Like aglio olio? OK to add garlic, and maybe some taosted breadbrumbs? (I ussually use anchovy)

        1. re: coll

          I'm sure any of that would be terrific (except anchovy, which would obscure bottagra's subtle nutty/fishy flavor). I was just trying to offer the most minimal, yet perfect, way to show off this great ingredient. Other embellishments that spring to mind are of course black or red pepper, basil instead of parsley, crushed toasted nuts instead of breadcrumbs. Generally, though, simpler is better.


      2. Bottarga is made from different fish. Which sort do you prefer?