Caviar is an ingredient known for elevating a dish with a single well-placed scoop. What other ingredients have that sort of influence on the culinary arts? Nothing quite holds a candle to caviar as an ingredient that takes an entire dinner party to new heights.
It seems easy, right? Just scoop some caviar onto any old entrée, and you have dishes worthy of James Beard awards in your home kitchen in an instant. Not so fast! Actually implementing caviar into your home cuisine is trickier than it appears.
Since caviar is such a show-stopper, containing powerful flavors and textures not to be ignored, it must be added to dishes with careful consideration.
That’s why we’ve compiled 12 wonderful recipes that make the most of every caviar pearl, ensuring you preserve the integrity of the ingredient from the appetizer to the main course and even dessert.
Every great meal starts with memorable bite-sized snacks meant to rev up the appetite.
Here are caviar-centric apps that you can whip up at the beginning of your next dinner party.
1. Roasted New Potatoes with Caviar
Potatoes have long been a caviar accomplice in the kitchen, and this classic recipe pays tribute to that legacy. New potatoes have an undeniable appeal already, varying in color and size with the perfect mix of a waxy and starchy texture.
How you want to present these potatoes is up to you. Either slice them up into thin coin-shaped segments or carve them so that they can stand up straight with a flat surface at the top, ideal for a small mound of caviar to sit.
No matter how you shape your potatoes, be sure to properly douse them with olive oil and season them lightly so that they attain that signature crispy exterior in the oven. From there, it’s all about layering your favorite crème fraiche and caviar on top to serve.
2. Caviar Tartare with Salmon and Tomato
Even the harshest food critics have a taste for quality tartare; the fresh and bright ingredients are a necessity to bring this delicate dish to life.
This is an appetizer where the ingredients are doing most of the heavy lifting for you. Your main responsibility is to bring them together in harmony by ensuring the proper proportions and the right level of seasoning.
This dish calls for salmon and fresh diced tomato to form the foundation of the tartare, and some finely chopped herbs and spices can be included to add some character.
The most difficult step is incorporating the caviar, which shouldn’t be handled with force under any circumstances. Instead, gently fold small scoops of caviar into your tartare mix and carefully mold the mixture into discs just prior to serving.
3. Creative Caviar Canapés
For those home chefs who want to make a creative statement in the kitchen, the canapé is a great format to work with, especially when you have some beautiful sturgeon caviar in your arsenal.
The concept of a canapé is simple, with a four-layered approach. On layer one is a starchy foundation: It can be a cracker, a mini toast point, a blini, or whatever else you see fit.
On top of that first layer should be a spread of some kind. Crème fraiche is the go-to for the caviar tradition, but you can draw from various influences to construct an edible “glue” that holds the canapé together.
Next comes a portion of protein or vegetable that adds bulk and depth to the creation. It can be smoked salmon, cured whitefish (potentially sturgeon?), or any arrangement of fresh veggies for some extra color and crunch.
Finally, garnish each canapé with an appropriate amount of caviar and perhaps an herb garnish to balance everything out.
4. Oysters with Pearls and Pickled Fennel
Caviar and oysters often share the same segment of the menu at high-end restaurants, so it’s not surprising to see these two luxury ingredients come together in a creative appetizer form.
This dish is simple as they come, with minimal prep time and no utensils required beyond an oyster knife and a mother-of-pearl spoon for scooping caviar.
Simply pop open your oysters, keeping them fresh on ice in the meantime, then scoop a small bundle of caviar into the middle of each open oyster.
For some extra flavor, you can mix up an easy “mignonette” with vinegar, salt, sugar, and perhaps some fresh fennel or shallots for some added crunch and texture.
The main event of your dinner party can also be enhanced with some caviar. These recipes are already classics in many culinary traditions, but the caviar offers a welcome twist and a dash of luxury to any setting.
5. Creamy Caviar Tagliatelle
Skip the spaghetti and red sauce if you want to make pasta elegant and light enough to match up to caviar. This recipe calls for a tagliatelle, a long and wide noodle shape that comes together perfectly with a delicate cream sauce and makes for an ideal caviar foundation.
Serving this pasta dish is all about presentation since the ingredients are not especially complicated. The carbonara-inspired cream sauce only requires eggs, parmesan, and perhaps some milk or cream.
After that, it’s just a matter of cooking the pasta to al dente perfection and making sure you pile the pasta in a formation that stands on its own. It will need to support the caviar you place on top.
6. Caviar-Topped Filet Mignon
Apart from ribeye, there is no cut of beef more tender and juicy than filet mignon. Consider the round and appealing shape of the filet, and you have a steak that pairs nicely with caviar (granted, you cook the meat with the right technique and nail the presentation).
Filet mignon cooks quickly and deserves plenty of butter and garlic from start to finish. Whether you go from skillet to oven or do an ambitious reverse sear, the key is to treat each cut with care and prevent overcooking at all costs. Medium rare should be the max.
Adding some fresh herb sprigs and caviar on top of the filet is the masterstroke that brings this beloved dish to another level of excellence. Don’t forget to let the filets rest and cool down before finishing with caviar.
7. Herb-Crusted Whitefish with Caviar
Famous French bistros often use fish like turbot or sole when serving up masterful dishes with herb oils, butter sauces, and finely-crafted crusts that bring a new dimension to a simple fish filet. Luckily, you can substitute any type of whitefish for this dish, but the caviar is a non-negotiable component.
Baking the fish is the easy part when bringing this dish to life. The technique and precision lie in crafting the sauces and oils that will complement the fish, the caviar, and any additional veggies or potatoes you use to round out the plate.
Butter sauce should be the main focus at first, incorporating butter, cream, white wine, shallots, and cream at a minimum. White balsamic can also be added, along with shallots or parsley if you have the time.
We also recommend building an herb crust that will be placed on each fish filet before baking. This should include breadcrumbs, parsley, parmesan, and of course, more butter.
Between the sauce, the crust, and the caviar, you have an unbeatable main course that will make lasting memories for you and any guests.
8. Bechamel White Sauce Caviar Pizza
We’re not about to dive into an extensive pizza recipe here, but know this: White sauce is the ideal foundation for a caviar pizza. Any type of rich red or spicy sauces should be skipped.
With that in mind, bechamel (known as one of the “mother sauces” in French cuisine) is a stellar starting point to make a white pizza fit for caviar topping.
You should master bechamel, a white roux with butter, flour, and milk, regardless of your cooking experience level. Caviar pizza is the perfect excuse to level up your skills in the kitchen and also create a knock-out entrée that everyone will love.
Before adding caviar to your pizza, be sure to let the cheese melt and temperatures cool so that you don’t disrupt the natural state of the sensitive caviar pearls.
Breakfast, Dessert, and More
Apps and entrées are usually when we see caviar utilized in the dining room, but we think there is even more room to experiment and let this versatile ingredient shine.
Here are a couple of breakfast ideas that include caviar, plus a dessert that proves sweet and savory are a match made in heaven.
9. Truffle and Caviar Benedict
Eggs benedict is arguably the most labor-intensive breakfast dish out there, which is why you might as well go all-out by adding truffle and caviar if you’re making it at home.
A few things need to go right to assemble a perfect benedict, and timing is critical.
If you want your benedict with bacon, we suggest starting by getting those strips in the oven from the jump. From there, start bringing poaching water up to a simmer (adding vinegar), and get to work on the Hollandaise sauce.
A mixing bowl or a blender will help you develop a rich and warm Hollandaise that doesn’t break or run. The key is to continuously add butter to the base of egg yolk while sprinkling in lemon juice and salt for flavor.
After that, take some time to poach the eggs— it’s easier than it looks if you have a big saucepan and a slotted spoon. In the meantime, toast the bread or English muffins so that you have a base on which to assemble the benedicts quickly.
At last, you can layer on some fresh-grated truffle and scoop the caviar to make this dish even more exquisite. It’s a lot to handle in one cooking session, but totally worth it.
10. Caviar Soft Scramble
Looking for more of a simple breakfast dish that features caviar? Soft scrambled eggs are another classic of French cuisine, and they don’t require a degree in the culinary arts to pull off.
Butter is your best friend when making a soft scramble, and while there is some technique involved, the process is pretty intuitive.
Whisk your eggs to perfection, then pour them slowly into a heavily buttered pan at medium-low heat. With a silicone spatula (flexibility is key), mix the eggs in the pan steadily for several minutes at a time, stopping only to let them take form for a few seconds at a time.
Before you know it, you’ll have stunning soft scrambled eggs that look and taste so velvety. The only thing you need to complete the dish is maybe a few scrapes of parmesan and your favorite caviar pearls layered over the top of it all.
11. Homemade Vanilla Custard with Caviar
Never made custard before due to the intimidation factor? Let us dispel the myth that making custard is difficult. This recipe is not only easy, but the caviar makes it even more worthwhile.
This dessert starts in a saucepan with milk, heavy cream, and a generous amount of vanilla extract. Over medium heat, you will stir the mixture until it’s noticeably hot (not boiling).
Then, in a separate large bowl, you will mix egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together, slowly pouring the hot mixture from the pan to incorporate all the ingredients. From there, you can bring the entire mix together at low heat and ladle it into individual custard cups.
Scooping caviar into each cup will make this homemade dessert a smash hit and a perfect end to the evening.
Keep the Caviar Coming
There are an infinite number of ways to enjoy caviar, from the classic stainless steel serving vessels to the most complex techniques in the book.
Use these recipes to spark some inspiration, and feel free to experiment with caviar in the kitchen from now on.