This Caviar Hors d’Oeuvre Pate is a really simple, tasty appetizer dish that will wow your guests. It starts with perfect hard boiled eggs that you can make ahead of time. After that it takes 5 minutes to put this together.
I am always surprised by how many people say they have never tried caviar. So surprise them with this!
Caviar Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
Caviar comes in an entire range of prices. Before I scare you away… I use the cheapest lumpfish caviar from a good deli or seafood counter. It comes in red or black and costs about $6.00 for 2 oz. The red and black taste the same- a little salty, oceany hit that almost bursts on your tongue.
Technically – this is not caviar – it is a caviar substitute but I guess, unlike champagne, they are not organized enough to prohibit labelling it as caviar. True caviar is technically roe from wild sturgeons that come from the Black or Caspian Sea.
There are different kinds – Beluga sturgeon (I always thought Beluga caviar came from a whale! Ha!) is the most prized and therefore expensive partly, because only 100 beluga sturgeon can be harvested per year from the Caspian Sea. Beluga sturgeons are considered an endangered species so Beluga caviar is not allowed to be sold in many countries. Wild caviar production was halted in Russia from 2008 to 2011 to allow the wild population to re-establish itself. Where available, it can cost up to $250 per ounce. It is shiny black and pea-sized.
The next is the small golden Sterlet caviar that was once reserved for the royalty of Russia, Iran and Austria. Next come the light to medium brown Ossetra, which is known as Russian caviar, and then Sevruga.
Other countries use salmon, trout, lumpfish, whitefish among others. China produced 10 tons of farmed caviar in 2013.
There is an internationally recognized grading system for caviar originating in Iran. It takes 10-15 years of processing caviar under strict supervision, to become an expert caviar grader. Quality is assessed by the uniformity and size of egg , colour, age of sturgeon at harvesting, fragrance, shininess among other traits.
How Do I Serve Caviar?
Caviar is pretty versatile. Sour cream or creme fraiche is a traditional accompaniment. You can sprinkle it over potatoes and sour cream, blinis. Garnish smoked salmon hors d’oeuvres with it. A little hit goes a long way. It also keeps in fridge for a few days after it is opened because it is salt cured.
This appetizer is just chopped hard boiled egg, topped with finely diced sweet onion and caviar. Sweet onion like sweet, white onion, Wallawalla or Vidalia work best. Sweet red onion can be used as well. Serve it with toast points or very plan crackers like Paris Toasts. A little goes a long way – 4 hard boiled eggs and 1/2 cup of sweet onion and 2 oz of caviar will make about 2 1/2 cups.
Simple ingredients but surprisingly tasty!
See tips on how to make perfect hardboiled eggs here.
No question… has to be sparkling! Any dry bubbly would be fine- a dry Prosecco, Spanish Cava, Ontario Sparkling . Any sparkling where it is described as toasty, nutty would go well.
- 4 hardboiled eggs finely chopped
- 1/2 cup sweet onion finely chopped
- 2 oz caviar (lumpfish or best you can afford)
- Paris Toasts or crackers for serving
- Rinse caviar. Use a very fine seive or line your seive with a paper towel or coffee filter so the roe doesn't wash through the seive and down the drain!
- On a small serving plate, pile the egg, then the onion and top with caviar.
- Serve with a small spoon and Paris toast or plain crackers.