Five Recipes Show Off How to Serve Caviar
Many home cooks don’t know how to serve caviar, finding this decadent ingredient intimidating. But now is the time to incorporate this salty delicacy into your dishes. Decades after its near extinction, caviar is enjoying a renaissance in America, but it’s the artisan American sturgeon roe that top chefs across the country are turning to for recipe inspiration. The best caviars, farm-raised in California and the Great Lakes, bring not only a level of indulgence and excitement to any dish, but also offer a depth of flavor that lends dimension and texture to even the most unexpected recipes—even when used as a garnish. Read on to learn how to serve caviar at any occasion.
Caviar has been an American institution for about 150 years, even before becoming popular in France. As far back as the late 1800s, the United States had established a thriving industry where caviar was so abundant that bars served it free, like peanuts in some places. Unfortunately, heavy fishing severely depleted the U.S. and international sturgeon population, and today, wild caviar is illegal around the world. Instead, the prized fish now luxuriate in farms such as the Tsar Nicoulai ponds in Wilton of Sacramento County, California.
Bygone are the days of caviar service being relegated only to the traditional ounce-serving on a bed of ice with blinis and its three inseparable caviar pairings: creme fraiche, hardboiled egg and onions. Don’t get me wrong–We love sharing the quintessential classic presentation as part of Jordan’s Champagne & Caviar Tasting and at culinary events, such as Christmas at Jordan. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room on the dinner table for other dishes that can be elevated to ever greater heights of gastronomy with a quenelle of caviar roe.
Here are five recipes from our wine country kitchen that feature caviar as a main ingredient. We recommend Tsar Nicoulai, since, in blind tastings of the artisan producer’s entire line of sustainably farmed sturgeon roes, the Tsar Nicoulai Reserve won almost unanimously as the most versatile caviar for wine pairing with Jordan Cuvée, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. We like the product so much, we even collaborated to create the Jordan Chef’s Reserve Caviar.
Want more caviar insight? Read our Four Unexpected Wine and Caviar Pairings That Work article.
How to Serve and Enjoy Caviar: Five Recipes
When we created this savory panna cotta recipe, our goal was to craft a caviar dish that captured the essence of Sonoma County’s pristine Sonoma Coast. The supporting floral and citrus notes complement wine beautifully, especially Jordan Chardonnay and Jordan Cuvée by Champagne AR Lenoble.
This elegantly simple side dish marries the delicate earthiness of cauliflower florets, creamy butter and fresh herbs with the rich, robust flavors of caviar. If this is your first foray into serving caviar, the recipe offers an unexpected backdrop for any meal.
Caviar is a luxury component for recipes in winter months, when comfort food rules. This recipe features bright pickled beet muted by a purée of lacinato kale and Japanese buckwheat soba noodles. The ponzu and tamari mirror the caviar’s salinity and bring out notes of citrus and concentrated umami, while the beet “cloud” is a playful textural element for Jordan Chardonnay.
We use bright “pickles” of dried persimmon skin and caviar as garnishes, which add acidity, texture and a pop of color to this winter appetizer recipe. The Martha’s Vineyard Bay Scallop is worth seeking out, but any fresh, dry-packed scallop may be substituted. The sweet, creamy texture of the scallop balances the minerality of Jordan Chardonnay.
Our final recipe foray into how to serve caviar is a recipe that is both luxurious and simple to prepare. A decadent hors d’oeuvre recipe, it may also be presented as a first-course soup. The recipe pairs seasonal cauliflower with earthy curry and briny caviar to complement the bright, crisp acidity of Jordan Chardonnay or Jordan Cuvée by Champagne AR Lenoble.