Unfussy Fare

Caviar Spread


My mother made this caviar spread for special occassions. For me, the taste is laden with memories of holiday parties in my 1970’s childhood. I loved the preparations even more than I loved the parties. There was a flurry of housecleaning. We dusted off of the good glasses and mixed big bowls of spiked punch. We ironed tablecloths. The house sparkled, and the adults were gregarious and cheery. Maybe it was the spiked punch. Regardless, the caviar spread was always a hit. There were many requests for the recipe, which I dutifully wrote out, because we didn’t have home computers in the olden days.

This seventies cocktail-party fare has stood the test of time. I still get requests for this recipe, although now I just email it. Even people squeamish about eating fish eggs come back for seconds, as the caviar is tempered with a grassy hit of parsley, the tang of green onion, and the finger-licking richness of cream cheese, mayonnaise, and chopped egg. I serve it with Triscuits, but that’s just a nod to childhood tradition. Any cracker you fancy would be fine. If you do choose Triscuits, I’d go with the low-salt variety. The caviar has salt enough. Sparkling white wine is the perfect accompaniment.  I guess there’s a reason people serve champagne with caviar. I feel festive just thinking about it.

Makes a 9-inch pie-pan full, which is A LOT. Unless I’m making it for a big party, I make a half recipe in a smaller dish.

11 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
¾ cup mayonnaise
6 green onions, trimmed and finely chopped
4 ounces caviar (I wouldn’t besmirch your fine caviar with all this other stuff. The grocery store variety is fine.)
3 hardboiled eggs, chopped
½ cup finely chopped parsley

Blend cream cheese and mayonnaise with food processor or a mixer.

Fold in chopped green onions.

Spread mixture evenly into the bottom of a nine-inch pie plate.

Put the caviar on top of the mayo mixture by the spoonful, then spread the spoonfuls gently with a butter knife to form a thin, even layer of caviar.

Sprinkle chopped eggs evenly over the top of the caviar.

Sprinkle chopped parsley evenly over eggs.

Serve chilled, with crackers.

7 Responses to “Caviar Spread”

  1. hungry dog says:

    Sounds delicious and festive!

  2. I’ve been looking for an elegant one-biter recipe for my upcoming cocktail party. This will be great! I hope I can make it look as pretty as it is in your pictures… Great photography by the way.

  3. Gillian says:

    Hungry Dog: Thanks! It’s good holiday fare.

    Organic Baby Clothes: Thank you. This spread is truly a crowd-pleaser. Truth be told, it looks pretty in the serving dish, but usually kind of messy on the cracker. It’s well on its way to a hungry mouth by the time it hits the cracker, so it doesn’t matter much. It would look better if each layer were applied individually to each cracker (as opposed to scooping and spreading the whole lot). But I’m far, far too lazy for that.

  4. Kate says:

    Does it go well with goat?

  5. Gillian says:

    Kate: You’d have to ask the troll who lives under the bridge. I hear she ate goat for Thanksgiving.

  6. Liz C. says:

    OMG! This looks so perfect! I buy caviar by the 12 oz. jar because I love it so much. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m definitely trying this! The only trick will be getting them to look as professional as yours… I’m a bit of a fumbler when it comes to cooking although I try really hard not to.


  7. Gillian says:

    Liz: I’ve never even seen a 12-ounce jar of caviar! This is definitely a recipe for you. And there’s nothing to making it look nice in the dish. Spread on a cracker it’s not so fancy-looking, but it doesn’t matter. Enjoy!

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