Caviar canapes are the perfect and effortless holiday dish. You will need only 3 ingredients and 15 minutes to present this elegant and festive appetizer to your family and guests.
If you are familiar with Eastern European cuisine, you probably have tried red caviar on buttered bread.
In Ukraine, I grew up eating caviar only on New Year's Eve or other special occasions, because it was pricey and considered to be a delicacy.
For those who've never had a chance to taste caviar, this method is one of the best and easiest ways to enjoy it. Many people find caviar too salty, but that's why it's important to enjoy it the right way, and not with a mere spoon.
Traditionally, caviar should be enjoyed with simple classic ingredients like bread, butter, and sometimes cucumbers, parsley, and dill. It is also popular to serve caviar on blintzes (thin, crepe-like pancakes).
Bread and butter provide a neutral base that does not overpower the delicate flavor of caviar.
You will need only 3 main ingredients to make this fancy appetizer. You can find the quantities in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Caviar (Salmon roe): I used salted salmon fish eggs. It is more affordable and easy to find. You can also black caviar, which is pricier.
- Baguette: french baguette is the best one to use for canapes. But any other bread or round crackers work too.
- Unsalted butter: high-quality unsalted butter is a very important ingredient. You can use a slightly salted one, but caviar is very salty itself, so avoid it if possible.
- Fresh herbs (optional): parsley and dill are used mostly for the contrast of color. Make sure not to add too much, because herbs can overpower the taste of caviar.
How to make it
Begin by slicing fresh baguette into thin rounds. You can make as many as you need, depending on how much caviar you have and how many you need.
If you prefer crunchy bread you can toast it in the oven for a few minutes, but I prefer the bread to be fresh.
It is important to note that any type of caviar should always be served chilled, while toasted bread is best when it is warm. That's why it is best to use fresh bread without toasting.
Take out the butter to soften for about 10 minutes so it is easier to spread. Then, spread a thin (or thick!) layer of butter onto each baguette slice.
Using a mother of pearl caviar spoon or any non-metallic spoon, carefully place a dollop of caviar on the buttered side of each baguette slice. I usually do 15-20 caviar beads per slice, which is about ½ tsp. You can garnish each canape with a small sprig of dill, fresh parsley, or chives.
Arrange salmon caviar canapes on a plate and serve them right away. Caviar should be served immediately to preserve the freshness and texture.
If you do decide to toast the bread, simply place the thingly sliced bread on a baking sheet and let it toast in the preheated to 375°F oven for about 3-4 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- If you prefer toasted bread, let it cool down before adding caviar
- Serve the canapes right away as the caviar will lose the flavor and can dry out quickly.
- For best results, use mother of pearl, glass, wooden or ceramic utensils. Metal can react with caviar and may alter its taste
- The small 1.75 jar was enough to make 6 canapes with about ½ teaspoon of caviar per slice of bread.
- Wine pairing: they pair well with white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay) or Champagne.
How to store
This caviar appetizer should be served and enjoyed immediately after you make it. But if for some reason there are few slices left (for sure you do not want to waste caviar), cover them tight with plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge. Enjoy within one to two days.
I prefer these canapes the simple way with just bread and butter, but you can also try some variations:
- Base: you can use crackers, small pancakes, or cucumber slices.
- Spread: you can try making them with crème fraiche, or cream cheese. or avocado.
- Caviar: you can make it with black caviar instead of red.
- Instead of caviar: Caviar can be hard to find in some places. You can easily substitute smoked salmon to create equally delicious canapes.
Frequently asked questions
Any caviar appetizers are best when served right away. If you want to speed up the process, slice the baguette and place it in a zip log back until ready to use. Assemble them just before your guests arrive to for the best taste and texture.
You can use traditional real caviar like sturgeon caviar, especially Ossetra or Sevruga. Salmon caviar is also a popular choice for its vibrant color, affordable price, and unique flavor.
Yes, you can use crackers, small pancakes, or cucumber slices as a base for your canapes.
Caviar Canapes (Easy Holiday Appetizer)
- 1 bread knife
- 1 cutting board
- 1 caviar spoon (optional) non metal spoon
- 1.75 oz (50g) salmon roe or other caviar
- ½ french baguette
- 4 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 6 sprig fresh dill for garnishing
- Slice french baguette thinly into 6 rounds. You can cut as many rounds needed, depending ho many canapes you make and how much caviar your have.
- Spread a generous amount of butter on each slice covering the entire surface. Alternatively, you can toast sliced bread in the oven for about 3-4 minutes.
- Spoon a small amount of salmon caviar (about 15-20 pearls per slice) onto each baguette buttered round. Add one fresh sprig of dill on top of each canape.
- Arrange your caviar canapes on a serving plate and serve immediately.