Oeufs au caviar rouge

Eggs topped with red caviar

These festive eggs are easy to prepare and may be served as a brunch or lunch dish, or at the start of a special meal. The only ingredients are eggs, crème fraîche or sour cream, half a lemon, chives and a few teaspoons of salmon roe, aka red caviar. Trout roe may be substituted — it’s less expensive and its slightly smaller, paler beads are almost as tasty.

The quantities below will serve 4-8 people.

4 eggs, preferably free-range or organic
3 tbsp. crème fraîche or sour cream
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
8 tsp. red caviar

Place the eggs in a pot and fill it with plenty of cold water. Bring to a boil. Cook the eggs for 10 minutes from the moment the water boils.

Remove from heat, cast off the water and refill the pot with cold water. Repeat. Allow the eggs to sit in the cold water for 5-10 minutes — this makes for easy peeling.

Peel the eggs and slice them in half lengthwise. Gently remove the hardened yolks, placing them in a small bowl. Mash with a fork.

Add the cream, lemon juice, chopped chives, salt and pepper. Stir well to blend.

Return the yolks to their whites, piling them prettily on top. Add a teaspoon of caviar to each egg.

The eggs may be served immediately or refrigerated, in which case they should be allowed to return to room temperature before serving.

Serves four as a starter or lunch dish, and four to eight as part of a buffet brunch.

This recipe was adapted from Please to the Table, Anya von Bremzen’s wonderful cookbook of recipes from the former Soviet Union.

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