Everything you need to know about bottarga

Bottarga, a rare product

Bottarga or bottarga in Provence, bottarga among the Italians, karasumi in Japanese… It has a thousand names, but only one taste: excellent! This exceptional product, extremely rich in omega-3, has been consumed since Antiquity in all four corners of the planet. What is it about ? A 100% natural and artisanal product: dried and pressed wild mullet eggs. Bottarga is almost always coated in a thin layer of edible wax, for optimal conservation, protected from any oxidation. It is placed under vacuum after this coating.

A raw tasting
Depending on the maturation, the color of a bottarga varies from orange-yellow to amber brown. To savor it, two options are possible. The first is to slice it thinly with a sharp knife, after removing the wax (which is never eaten), as you do with the skin of a sausage. Second option, use a parmesan grater – for this you must choose very dry bottarga. Good news, it can be kept for up to six months in the fridge, in an airtight container.

How to taste bottarga?

Southern caviar style
Often nicknamed the “caviar of the Mediterranean”, this powerfully iodized dish is perfectly eaten in a thin slice on a blini, with crème fraîche, and accompanied by a shot not of vodka, but of boukha. A wiser option: taste a bottarga refined with this famous Tunisian fig alcohol. Where to order? On the site soboutargue.com, which offers delivery, in less than 48 hours, of a bottargue made in France matured in the boukha style. Amazing!

In pasta-chic mode
In Italy, bottarga goes very well with pasta. For 2 people, cook 250 g of pasta. Meanwhile, brown 2 cloves of garlic in 2 tbsp. tablespoons of olive oil, before adding 40 g of grated bottarga. Deglaze with 25 cl (a small ladle) of pasta cooking water. Add the zest of half an organic lemon and the pasta to the pan, then again 40 g of grated bottarga and 40 g of breadcrumbs. Sprinkle with parsley and serve in deep plates. Where to taste? At Ristorante National, 243, rue Saint-Martin (Paris-3e). hotelnational.paris

In Lebanese mezze to share
For 12 people, cut 400 g of bottarga into thin slices, carpaccio style, and place them on a flat plate. Sprinkle with a bunch of fresh oregano and drizzle with olive oil. Serve this bottarga with a bowl containing 20 g of fresh garlic, 20 g of fresh green pepper cut into thin strips and olive oil, and accompanied by Lebanese bread. Best enjoyed with a good dry white wine.
Where to get inspiration? In “Liza, à la libanaise” (ed. Alain Ducasse), brand new recipe book signed by Liza Asseily and her husband, Ziad.

In an offbeat and iodized luxury risotto
For 4 people, melt 1 chopped onion, 1 knob of butter and 500 g of carnaroli rice. Mix over low heat until the rice becomes translucent. Deglaze with 12 cl of white wine and let reduce until dry. Add chicken stock to the height, allow to reduce until dry, then add again. Repeat this operation until the rice is al dente (approximately 25 minutes). At the same time, brown 5 cleaned poivrade artichokes (cut hay and hard leaves) and 1 chopped shallot in a pan over medium heat, for 5 minutes. Then add the artichokes to the rice, then 120 g of grated parmesan. Arrange in 4 deep plates and sprinkle with 40 g of grated bottarga.
Where to taste it? Chez Daroco, 6, rue Vivienne (Paris-2nd). www.daroco.fr

Double snobbery

For a wow starter, customize a burrata, the superstar cheese, with 10 to 20 g of grated bottarga and a drizzle of olive oil. A dazzling iodized milky duo.

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