Red Jacket Potatoes and Caviar
As hors d’oeuvres or on a dinner plate, small red jacket potatoes with a dab of sour cream or crème fraîche, topped with red caviar and snipped chives, are always a hit.




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February 2007
Updated June 2007

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Fish, Seafood & Caviar

Salmon Caviar Recipes

Simple-To-Make, All-Star Dishes With Red Caviar


CAPSULE REPORT: Salmon caviar, relatively inexpensive, brings a lot of bang for the buck to hors d’oeuvres, first courses and main courses. Call it romantic, call it sexy—just don’t forget to call it for dinner.


“Red caviar” is a term used interchangeably with salmon caviar, although the color is more orange than red (it runs across a spectrum from pale to deep orange, depending on the variety of salmon). However, there are red and orange roes from other fish species as well. Tobiko, or flying fish caviar, is a tiny, crunchy roe from Iceland, and is also available in red and orange hues; masago, also called capelin caviar, is roe from the smelt fish, similar to tobiko, and also used in sushi and sashimi dishes. Trout roe can be orange or yellow in color. And whitefish roes, pale yellow in color, are often colored and flavored—e.g., to create red-colored beet caviar or orange-colored ginger caviar.

But salmon caviar is undisputedly the finest type of red caviar. Much more than a colorful garnish, it is affordable enough to be enjoyed as an everyday food—or at least, in weekend dinner dishes. It’s a luxury food but also a health food: an excellent source of DHA and EPA, the omega-3 acids that work to prevent heart disease, blindness, depression and premature birth, as well as playing an essential role in the healthy development of the brain and eyes.

While many salmon caviars may look alike, tastes vary widely—from subtle, quality roe with the right amount of “pop,” to oversalted, soft and watery pearls. An excessive washing process used to separate salmon roe from its connective tissue can leave the roe watery and slightly sweet—not the desired characteristics of top-quality red caviar. Second, the chemicals and enzyme solutions used by some processors draw out many of the vitamins, amino acids, minerals and oils, leaving the product with far fewer health benefits. While the product may be safe, consumers are not rewarded with the high quality they expect and deserve.

Fortunately, salmon caviar is relatively inexpensive: Most people can afford to try different brands to find the one they prefer.

Hors d’Oeuvres


Red caviar makes hors d’oeuvres exciting.

  • For a luxurious treat, roll a spoonful of cream cheese or goat cheese in a strip of smoked salmon and top with red caviar. This concept can be expanded as a first course, using shrimp, crab or lobster salad instead of the cheese (salad will fall out of the rollup in a finger food—it needs to be confined to plated foods).
  • Fill endive leaves with a dab of crème fraîche and red caviar.
  • Fill miniature pastry cups with red caviar, as shown below, left. (We love these pastry cups from Clearbrook Farms).
  • If you can’t find pastry cups, it’s easy to cover fresh French bread with sweet butter or crème fraîche (below, right).
  • Or, if you’re patient, you can tease the caviar into the shape of a heart, as we did in the photo below.
Salmon Rolls
Salmon rolls can be filled with cream cheese or goat cheese and topped with caviar as an hors d’oeuvre, or filled with shrimp, crab or lobster salad plus caviar as a first course.

Caviar in Pastry CupsSalmon caviar in a pastry cup makes a great hors d’oeuvres at cocktail parties.

Caviar On ToastIf you can’t find pastry cups, serve the caviar on cocktail toast or blini.

First Courses


Whatever you’re planning to serve, red caviar works as a colorful plate garnish: You can scatter some beads across the plate, or add a spoonful to an endive leaf.

  • Top a trio of seared scallops with a dab of creme fraîche and some red caviar.
  • Right before serving, add a spoonful to a vegetable- or fish-based soup. Instead of adding the caviar directly to the soup, you can toast a piece of baguette as a crouton, add the caviar, and float the crouton on the top of the soup.
  • Or, if you’re patient, you can tease the caviar into the shape of a heart, as we did in the photo below.
Seared Scallops With Caviar
Seared scallops with crème fraîche, red caviar and dill.

Soup with Caviar

Soup with caviar heart. You can make the heart shape by spooning the caviar into a small cookie cutter.

Main Courses


Red caviar can accent any fish or seafood dish.

  • It’s easy to add a spoonful to the top of the fish.
  • Or, sprinkle the beads in the sauce, as shown at the right.
  • You don’t need to serve a sauce—just sprinkle the beads on a bare plate. It’s equally glamorous and saves calories, too.
  • The pasta dish, below, couldn’t be sexier: black (squid ink) linguine in a light cream sauce dotted with red caviar. The linguine is accented with shrimp and lobster claw meat, and the plate is garnished with fresh basil, thyme and edible flower petals. Although it looks like a chef spent hours in its creation, it’s a very simple dish: The most complex part is the sauce (and you can purchase a cream sauce or Alfredo sauce, then add a tablespoon of Cognac).
Roasted Salmon With Caviar Sauce
Roasted salmon on a bed of basil mashed potatoes with a saffron mousseline sauce and red caviar.

Squid Ink Linquine With Seafood

Black linguine with lobster, shrimp and red caviar in a cream sauce. Decorate the plate with edible flower petals.
  • You can also make a simple pasta dish by tossing cooked angel hair or another thin, long cut with butter to lightly coat the pasta, plating the pasta, and then adding the caviar. Garnish with snipped dill, chives or basil.
  • In addition to the red jacket potato idea at the top of this page, red caviar can be added to almost any potato preparation—for instance, to make “polka dot” mashed potatoes, or as a “surprise,” in a baked potato underneath a topping of sour cream.

More ideas? The only limits are your imagination and your budget.

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