I came up with this elegant starter for a dinner party we hosted. I knew I was going to have to spend a lot of time on the main course, so I opted for a dish that was quick and easy to assemble. It’s made of four flavorful layers: crème fraîche flavored with beet green pesto, pumpkin seed-crusted Russian rye bread, grilled beet carpaccio and a luxurious caviar topping.
I always make extra pesto that I store for later use. If you’re storing frozen pesto cubes as I’ve suggested in the past, this is a recipe that you can whip up very easily. I also used freshly picked beets from our garden, grilled them on the barbecue and thinly sliced them with a mandoline. If you’re looking for a vegetarian alternative to caviar, you could always replace it with roasted red bell pepper red pesto-flavored quinoa caviar. Either way, this first course is as appealing to the eye as it is to the stomach.
1. Info for Caviar Tower with Beet Carpaccio
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 45 mins
- Servings: 8
- Calories: 144 kcal
2. Ingredients for Caviar Tower with Beet Carpaccio
- 2 tablespoons beet green pesto, or any pesto
- 1 cup creme frau00eeche (or sour cream)
- 7 fresh candy striped beets (or any variety of beets)
- 1 (1.2-pound) package Russian rye bread, cut into ½-inch thick slices
- 6 tablespoons oil
- 4 ounces salmon roe caviar, at room temperature
- 8 garlic chives, finely snipped
- 1 teaspoon rock pink salt, freshly grated
- Preparing the crème fraîche: Combine the beet green pesto and the crème fraîche. Stir well. adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Preparing the beets: Remove any dirt and scrub the beets under tap water. Trim off a little piece from the end of the root. Peel the beets. Cut them in half lengthwise .
- Lightly brush a grill with olive oil and heat it. Place the halved beets on the hot grill for approximately 3 minutes per side, until you get grill marks. Sprinkle with salt. Move them away from the heat and place them in the lowest heat of the grill; covered and cooked for 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
- Shave the beets using a mandoline slicer on the thinnest setting. Drizzle with more olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Assembly time:
- Note: Remove the caviar from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving to bring back to room temperature.
- Warm the bread slices on the lowest setting on a toaster. Create 2 disks per slice using a 2¾” metal circle cutter.
- On an individual serving plate, place a small dollop of crème fraîche, so the first bread slice is stable. Stack 1 bread slice, spread a thin layer of crème fraîche, sprinkle with garlic chives, place about 1 teaspoon of caviar in the center and garnish with thin shavings of 1 grilled beet, fanning the slices out. Cover with another crème fraîche layer. Place the second bread slice, the last crème fraîche layer and finish with 2 teaspoons of caviar.
- Garnish with more garlic chives.
- Serve immediately.
- Bon appétit!
4. Tips and advices:
- If You can’t find Russian rye bread, You could use other dark rye bread alterntives or any kinds of lightly toasted bread.