This is a simple and delightful way to serve left-over caviare - well, OK, perhaps caviare is never really left over, but it's good anyway. It will also work well with other kinds of fish eggs: lumpfish roe or salmon caviare, for example.

The first thing to do is to boil the eggs. You will need five eggs for two people, for a light lunch or dinner.

You could also serve this dish as a starter, allowing three eggs per two people. Use the best-quality eggs you can afford.

How to boil an egg

This is one of those things which is more difficult than you might think, especially if you want nice hard-boiled eggs.

First, put the eggs in a saucepan and add enough cold wter from the tap to just cover them. Then, leave them alone for 10 minutes. The purpose of the exercise is to make sure the eggs have warmed up a bit before you start to boil them, so that they cook more evenly. (You've probably just taken the eggs out of the fridge, haven't you?)

Heat the saucepan of eggs, watching carefully until the water comes to a roiling boil. Reduce the heat slightly so the the water is bubbling, but not too hard. For soft-boiled, cook for three minutes only. For hard-boiled - for this recipe - then six minutes is all that is required. (Hard-boiled eggs should just have the innermost part of the yolk still runny.)

Once the time is up, remove from the heat and immediately drain off the hot water. Fill the pan with cold water, and then position under a running tap so that cold water is (slowly) running into the saucepan and overflowing. The movement of the water cools the eggs more thoroughly, and prevents the insides from cooking too much. Leave to cool in the water for five minutes.


While the eggs are boiling, make up some of my Balsamic Salad Dressing.

Put two good handfuls of mixed salad leaves into a bowl. (I tend to use those bags of washed salad from the supermarket, but make sure you get a really fresh one.) I prefer a salad with plenty of Rocket and Lamb's Lettuce, or perhaps even Watercress.

Pour two tablespoons - not too much - of the salad dressing over the leaves, and toss to make sure they're all coated. (Here, toss is a technical term, meaning: scoop up the leaves with your fingers a few times!)

Arrange the dressed salad in two shallow bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with a tablespoon of finely-chopped raw red onion, or you could use chopped spring onions. You can also add a teaspoon of capers (optional) to each dish.

Shell the boiled eggs. Do this by gently bashing the shell all the way around the middle, and then gently peeling off the coating in a few big pieces. Be careful, and try not to break the soft inner parts.

Slice each egg in half (careful! - use a sharp knife) and arrange on the salad. Top each egg with a teaspoon of soured cream. Put half a teaspoon of caviare on top of each blob of cream.

Serve immediately, while the eggs are still just warm. You can offer sliced crusty bread, or perhaps Saffron Potatoes.