American sturgeon caviar on a daikon ring atop a cucumber slice.





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April 2005

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Fish, Seafood & Caviar

Favorite Caviar Recipes

Easy And Elegant

How many ways can you enjoy caviar?


On blini, on potato slices, on potato pancakes, in smoked salmon rolls...some purists eat it straight from the tin. Our favorite caviar of all time was a caviar surprise luncheon dish: two tablespoons of osetra hidden under a smooth-as-panna cotta cauliflower crème. A dish that was as magical as it sounds bizarre, it will be recalled until their dying days by all those who experienced it at Joel Robuchon’s legendary restaurant Jamin in Paris, circa 1990.

We hope you’ll send us your favorite caviar recipes. Ours include:

  1. Golden Caviar Dip
  2. Party Caviar Pie
  3. Layered Caviar Dip

    Hors D’Oeuvres or First Courses

  4. Eggs In Their Nest
  5. Nouvelle Deviled Eggs With Caviar Caps

    First Courses or Main Courses
  6. Seared Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Whitefish Caviar Vinaigrette
  7. Scallop Skyscrapers
  8. Scallops with Caviar & Asparagus
  9. Caviar & Angels




1. Golden Caviar Dip

Your friends may rave about your artichoke dip, your curried-yogurt dip, your poblano-cream cheese dip. Time to try out a new rave, with caviar. Recipe courtesy of Tsar Nicoulai. You can order their caviars directly; and if you’re in San Francisco, stop by their cafe in the Ferry Building to enjoy their caviar menu.

Makes 2 cups.


  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup crème fraîche
  • ¼ cup fresh chives, finely minced
  • 4 ounces Golden Whitefish Caviar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, sieved
  • 1 tablespoon crushed green peppercorns
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well mixed. Refrigerate 2-3 hours, taste and adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Serve with raw vegetables or unsalted chips.


American Golden Whitefish Crudites

Tsar Nicoulai American Golden Whitefish Caviar



2. Party Caviar Pie

Our first introduction to caviar was this hors d’oeuvre created by our mother for every holiday and cocktail party from our early childhood on. Mom adapted it from the recipe printed on the outer carton of Romanoff lumpfish caviar.


  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1-½ cups chopped Bermuda* or Vidalia onion
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 4.7 ounce jar each of black and red lumpfish caviar (Mom used the Romanoff brand specified in the original recipe, but given the many different roes available these days, you may wish to upgrade to paddlefish for black and salmon for red)
  • ½ cup chopped parsley or scallion tops for garnish
  • ½ cup capers
  • Pumpernickel party bread, toast points or blini

*If the Bermuda onion is strong, soak the minced onion in cold water for 15 minutes; strain and pat dry with paper towels.


  • Grease an 8- or 9-inch spring-form pan.
  • Chop the hard boiled eggs. Combine with the mayonnaise and spread over the bottom of the pan.
  • Sprinkle the chopped onions uniformly to create a second layer.
  • Blend the softened cream cheese with the sour cream and spread over the onion layer. Cover and chill 3 hours or longer (can be made the day before and refrigerated at this point). Place the spring-form pan on a plate covered with a paper towel to catch any liquid drain-off.
  • Just before serving, carefully rinse the lumpfish caviars in separate bowls of water, strain, and drain on paper towels. Run a knife around the edge of the spring-form and remove the ring.
  • Spread the caviar and other garnishes into an aesthetic design. Use wax paper for masking and toothpicks to move the caviar. You’ll have to plot your design scheme in advance. Mom, who had a meticulous and steady hand, did concentric circles of black caviar, red caviar and parsley to create, in effect, a caviar bull’s eye. Those with lesser skill can try the asterisk approach, intersecting vertical lines across the pie. For the faint of hand, drizzling red caviar on one half and black on the other is both attractive and honorable. Plant a trail of capers across the median—it doesn’t have to be straight.
  • Place the “pie” on a serving tray with spreaders and bread or blini. (Mom placed the pie atop a festive paper doily, available at stores with party supplies.)
  • Serve with chilled vodka and Champagne.


Caviar Pie Romanoff Caviar
Don’t be intimidated: the compass design above was created by a professional food stylist.  


3. Layered Caviar Dip

This is a simpler variation of the Party Caviar Pie above.


  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 cups chopped Bermuda (red) onion
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 8 ounces caviar any kind or color; or 4 ounces each of two contrasting colors/flavors for a half-and-half top
  • Chopped parsley (optional)
  • Scallion, cherry or grape tomato to garnish (optional)
  • Pumpernickel party bread and/or toast points


  • In a 2-cup glass bowl, alternate layers of the chopped eggs, onion, and sour cream. The sour cream layers should be thick; the egg and onion layers will be thin. The top layer should be sour cream.
  • Cover the top layer with caviar. If you are using garnishes, leave uncovered space at the rim.
  • Edge the rim with chopped parsley.  
  • Create a scallion “palm tree” centerpiece for the bowl by shortening and feathering the tops; or go simpler and center a yellow or red cherry or grape tomato.
  • Center the bowl on a large plate and surround with bread slices.




Hors D’Oeuvres or Main Courses

4. Eggs In Their Nest

Serve as a first course at a festive lunch or dinner, as a substantial cocktail food or a special Easter treat. Courtesy of Tsar Nicoulai.

Serves 4


  • 1 dozen small chicken eggs
  • Tsar Nicoulai Naturally Flavored & Colored Whitefish Roes
  • Cellophane noodles


  • Hard boil the smallest eggs you can find. Shell, halve, remove the yolks and reserve them for another use.
  • Fill the hollows of the eggs with your choice of three different colored whitefish roes (we recommend Tsar Nicoulai’s Beet Saffron, Ginger, and Wasabi-infused whitefish caviars for their diverse flavors and their red, orange, and green colors).
  • Cook and cool a package of Asian cellophane noodles and create a “nest” on each luncheon-size plate. Artfully arrange three filled eggs in the nest and garnish the plate with chive fronds and crème fraîche.
Beet Saffron Caviar Ginger Whitefish Caviar Wasabi Caviar

Infused whitefish caviars: Beet Saffron, Ginger and Wasabi.


5. Nouvelle Deviled Eggs With Caviar Caps

For this we make our own deviled egg recipe; but to save time we purchase the smoked fish salads from a local specialty food store or our favorite online sources. We serve the eggs as a first course at spring and summer lunches and dinners, and as munchies at cocktail parties and teas. The three different color fillings—yellow, white, and pink—are seasonally perky with or without their caviar hats; and the rich green bed of spinach or chard is a handsome visual as well as tasty counterpoint.

Makes 8 first courses or 24 hors d’oeuvres


  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/3 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ pound lump crabmeat
  • 1 pound smoked sturgeon salad
  • 1 pound smoked salmon salad
  • ½ teaspoon fresh dill, snipped, and ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)
  • 2 ounces each of salmon caviar, golden whitefish caviar, and black paddlefish caviar
  • 2 pounds fresh spinach or chard
  • Fresh nutmeg (optional)
  • Butter, salt and pepper to taste


  • In a saucepan large enough to cover the eggs with cold water with one inch of clearance, bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer the eggs for 10 minutes. Do not cook longer or a green ring will form around the yolk.
  • Remove from heat, drain, and run the eggs under cold water until they are cool enough to handle. Peel them immediately.
  • Cut a thin amount off each end of the egg to create a flat surface; then slice the eggs in half widthwise, not lengthwise so that each half will stand upright.
  • You will only be deviling 1/3 of the eggs; 2/3 remainder will be stuffed with the fish salads. Thus you can choose to devil all of the yolks and enjoy the excess mixture on toast points the next day; or reserve the extra yolks to crumble into spinach salad, garnish vegetables, etc. The ingredient amounts above are for preparing only 1/3 of the yolks, so adjust them accordingly.
  • Mash together the egg yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, and dill. Remove any shell or cartilage from the crabmeat and combine with the egg mixture. Put into a disposable pastry bag with a star tip and pipe into 1/3 of the egg whites.
  • Add ½ teaspoon of dill and ¼ teaspoon of grated lemon zest to the smoked salmon salad, if desired. Pipe the smoked salmon and smoked sturgeon salads into 1/3 each of the remaining egg whites.
  • Cover and chill until 15 minutes before serving. If preparing in advance, you may wish to place the eggs in a deep baking dish or spring form that you can seal with plastic wrap without disturbing the stuffed tops.
  • Wilt the spinach or chard until pliable; drain and toss with butter and salt and pepper to taste. Freshly grated nutmeg is a wonderful accent to these vegetables.
  • Use small tongs to create a circular “nest” of spinach or chard on each plate. The circle should be bare to the plate in the center so the eggs can stand upright. Put one color of each egg on the plate and garnish with a contrasting caviar “cap”—a few eggs—on the top: black caviar on the yellow egg and crab mixture, red caviar on the white sturgeon, and golden caviar on the pink salmon.


First Courses or Main Courses


6. Seared Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Whitefish Caviar Vinaigrette

Wasabi-flavored caviar garnishes the seared tuna and flavors the vinaigrette. Yield: 2 servings. Courtesy of Tsar Nicoulai. Shown below along with wasabi mashed potatoes.

Ingredients for the Wasabi Whitefish Caviar Vinaigrette

  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Tsar Nicoulai Wasabi Whitefish RoeAhi



  • Mix mustard, vinegar and oil together. Fold in the whitefish roe.

Ingredients for the Tuna

  • 2 four ounce Ahi Tuna Filets
  • 4 tablespoons of black and white sesame seeds
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Tsar Nicoulai Naturally Colored and Flavored Whitefish Roe


  • Mix the sesame seeds with salt and black pepper. Coat the Tuna with the mixture.
  • Allow the pan to get hot at medium-high heat. Pour in the oil and heat until right before smoking.
  • Sear the filets for 1 minute each side to whatever level doneness is preferred. Place the tuna on a plate and pour on the vinaigrette.
  • Garnish with additional Tsar Nicoulai Wasabi Whitefish Roe.


7. Scallop Skyscrapers

This is a festive and stunning “architectural” creation—but easy to make. Serve it as a first course or as a fish course in a more elaborate dinner. We adapted this one from a dish we enjoyed at Tru restaurant in Chicago several years ago. It’s a showstopper, and it has become one of our own signature dishes.

Select infused whitefish caviars of different colors and flavors: ginger (yellow), wasabi (pale green), and beet (red) or regular whitefish caviar (yellow). Seek black paddlefish or bowfin caviars for the black layer. The large salmon eggs make the most impressive topper. If you can’t find infused caviars locally (they are available from and, you should be able to find yellow whitefish, orange, red tobiko, and a black caviar.


  • 4 large sea scallops per person
  • 4 different colored and flavored caviars, 1 teaspoon of each per person
  • 1 bunch chives
  • Parmesan tuile, savory fan cracker, gourmet grissini (thin breadsticks), or other architectural elements to anchor behind the scallop skyscraper (1 per person, optional)
  • Small new potatoes, peeled and boiled, to hold the tuile or breadsticks (1 per person, optional)
  • Long toothpicks
  • Unsalted butter


  • Lightly pan sauté the scallops in butter for a minute or two on each side, depending on thickness. Scallops should be medium-rare, not overcooked.
  • Remove and assemble the scallops into four towers, using the first three caviars as “mortar” between each layer. Do not add the top caviar layer until the end.
  • The scallops need not be of even size; in fact, uneven sizes make a more interesting tower. The sizes should decrease as the tower builds up. Sort the cooked scallops by size and use the largest for the bottom layer. Place on a small, attractive plate. ( A glass, crystal, black or solid red plate is especially handsome for this dish; but any solid color plate will work.)
  • You can use the caviar colors in any order, but assuming you will end up with orange salmon caviar on top, here is a suggestion: place a small spoonful of red or yellow caviar atop the first scallop and add the second. Use black caviar between the second and third, and green caviar between the third and fourth. It’s O.K. if the caviar layers are uneven—the asymmetry is part of the beauty of the dish.
  • After you have added the fourth scallop, use a long toothpick to hold the scallops together.
  • Then top the fourth scallop with a generous mound of salmon caviar.
  • If you are using a Parmesan tuile or other cracker garnish (Chef Rick Tramonto of Tru created a large, sail-shaped cracker with crimped edges; you may bake them or find interesting shapes in your specialty food store), level one end of the new potatoes so they will sit steadily on the plate. Use an ice pick, knife, or other implement to create an aperture to anchor the cracker. Set one cracker behind each of the scallop skyscrapers.
  • Scatter assorted caviar eggs over the plate, along with some tiny snipped chives. If you aren’t using crackers, drape a couple of chives across the back plate in an X formation.


8. Scallops With Caviar and Asparagus

Caviar goes well with all fish and seafood. We love serving it with scallops not only because we like scallops, but because they’re so quick and easy to cook. You can adapt this same concept to a lobster tail, shrimp, or any white-fleshed fish like swordfish, cod or halibut.

This is a dish where you can splurge on Caspian or American sturgeon caviar. Or, as with the preceding dish, you can serve a trio of scallops as a main course with a different caviar on each. We’d recommend salmon, paddlefish, and whitefish.


  • 1 large scallop for a first course, 3 for a main course
  • 1 teaspoon caviar per scallop
  • 3-5 thin asparagus per plate
  • Unsalted butter
  • Dill to garnish
  • Lemon curls or spirals (optional)


  • Cook the asparagus and butter lightly if you wish.
  • Lightly pan sauté the scallops in butter for a minute or two on each side, depending on thickness. Scallops should be medium-rare, not overcooked.
  • Fan 3-5 asparagus on each plate. Place the scallop(s) on the asparagus and top with caviar.
  • Snip dill over the plate (or scatter small sprigs).
  • Garnish with a lemon spiral.

Note: You can plate the asparagus and garnishes ahead of time and get the hot scallops to the table faster.


9. Caviar & Angels

Caviar and pasta are two favorite foods that naturally go together. Just match fine shapes with minimal surface area that won’t overwhelm the caviar pearls. Angel hair is a perfect match. You can use Caspian or American sturgeon caviar if you’re feeling flush, but salmon caviar works just fine.


  • 1 package angel hair pasta
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 ounce container crème fraîche at room temperature
  • 1 small jar salmon caviar
  • 3 ounces poached fresh salmon or salmon kabobs, smoked salmon, or fresh oysters (optional)
  • Fresh grated lemon zest
  • Fresh dill


  • If including fresh salmon, prepare by poaching. (You can use leftover salmon, just warm it briefly before incorporating it into the dish.)
  • Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and toss with butter. Apportion in tight mounds on individual plates.
  • Place several spoons of crème fraîche in the center of each mound and a heaping teaspoon of caviar in the center of the crème fraîche
  • If you are using seafood, cut and evenly space the pieces around the base of the plate (e.g., at compass points)
  • Don’t use cheese with this pasta dish, but grate a bit of fresh lemon zest over the pasta and seafood.
  • Garnish with snipped dill.

Leftovers taste great cold!

Investigate The World Of Caviar

caviar The World of Caviar The Taste of Dreams
Caviar: A mapping of the delicacy past and uncertain future. Click here for more information or to purchase. The World of Caviar: An A to Z guide for all things caviar. Click here for more information or to purchase. The Taste of Dreams: Explore how Russian caviar became a sexy culinary staple. Click here for more information or to purchase.
Caviar Knives    
Mother of Pearl Caviar Knife Spreaders: Why stop with the spoons? Continue the luxe feel with these mother of pearl spreading knives. Click here for more information or to purchase.




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