Caviar is salty. Expensive. And made of fish eggs. Enough said.
But it’s also decadent. Extravagant. And always a show stopping addition to fancy parties. So let’s not totally discount this whole caviar thing even though rates high on the sodium and budget meter. And let’s have some fun with it instead.
Now we’ve played with low-sodium caviar impersonators before, so this isn’t my first caviar rodeo. But with summer fruit in full bloom, I was suddenly struck by another amazing stand in. BLACKBERRIES!
Their dark purple seed pods look super similar to those plump little eggs. And it is quite easy, with gentle finger work, to break the little berry balls off from their harder core and create a small cup of berry caviar.
As for pumping up the flavor, you can go sweet or savory. Which means the fun continues.
Let the blackberries soak in a little balsamic vinegar overnight and then use a fine mesh sieve to strain the little berry balls from the liquid. Serve with crackers (or crispy nectarine slices like you see here or even crunchy apples); some Greek yogurt or creme fraiche; finely chopped shallots; and even a sprinkle of fresh basil or thyme.
If you want to go a sweeter route, keep the balsamic vinegar but nix the shallots and herbs. Then add a drizzle of honey and maybe a little lemon or orange zest too.
The best part of all is that there is really no wrong way to go here. Between the ripe blackberries and the fun presentation, your guests will be wowed. So be playful. And serve some berry caviar at your next get together.