Black olive caviar light bites


Storing olive oil in the fridge will make it condense and turn into a harder, butter-like consistency.

Makes ½ cup caviar - enough for 48 spoon-size bites

This lovely appetizer is perfect for any party. It's my favorite way to show off those unmatched sterling silver spoons from a Paris flea market. Once assembled, arrange the spoons on a tray or platter and circulate among the guests. Serve small toasts as an accompaniment.


For the caviar


One 2 ¼-ounce can sliced black olives, drained and finely chopped

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste


For the other components


1 hard-cooked egg

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

½ cup creme fraiche, sour cream, or fresh white goat cheese


To make the caviar, stir together all the ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

To prepare the egg, using a fork, finely crumble the egg in a small bowl. Season to taste.

To assemble each serving, starting at the handle end of the spoon, arrange rows of about ½ teaspoon creme fraiche, sour cream, or goat cheese, about ½ teaspoon egg, and about ½ teaspoon caviar.

Pass the assembled spoons on a tray or platter. Provide a glass or other container where your guests can place the spoons once they have taken their bite.

Advance preparation

The caviar will keep for up to 2 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. Assemble the spoons up to 1 hour before serving; cover and refrigerate.

Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.