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2000s Recipes + Menus

Caviar and Salmon Blini Tortes

  • Active Time:50 min
  • Start to Finish:50 min
February 2008
With sustainability in mind, we taste-tested a variety of domestic caviars. Trout roe had the pop and brininess we were looking for—and it was especially pretty.

For egg salad

  • 1 hard-boiled large egg, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

For blini

  • 2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled, divided

For filling

  • 1/4 lb thinly sliced smoked salmon at room temperature
  • 2 oz trout caviar, such as rainbow–trout caviar*, or salmon roe
  • Garnish:

    sour cream; chopped chives

Make egg salad:

  • Stir together all ingredients and a pinch of salt.

Make blini:

  • Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl. Add milk and yolk and whisk until smooth.
  • Beat egg white with a clean whisk in another bowl until it just holds soft peaks. Fold into batter along with 2 tablespoons melted butter.
  • Brush a 12-inch nonstick skillet with some of remaining melted butter, then heat over medium heat until hot. Working in batches of 6 or 7, drop 1 level tablespoon batter per pancake into skillet and cook until bubbles appear on surface and undersides are golden, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Flip over and cook 1 minute more. Brush blini on both sides with some of remaining melted butter, then transfer to a plate and keep warm, covered with foil. Brush skillet with butter between batches.

Fill tortes:

  • Drape smoked salmon on 6 blini and top with egg salad. Spoon caviar onto 6 more blini, then stack on egg-salad-topped blini.
Cooks’ note: Egg salad can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to cool room temperature before using.

*Domestic caviar is available at specialty markets and Sunburnt Trout Company (800-673-3051).