This appetizer is a total fake-out and a lot of fun to serve. Ellen and Portia absolutely loved these the first time I served them. They both had fond memories attached to caviar, and this recipe brought back those fun times without compromising their vegan diet. Serve these little morsels with a glass of Champagne and share them with some cool friends.
- 1/2 cup black beluga lentils
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons minced capers, packed in brine
- 2 tablespoons brine from the caper jar
- 4 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Miso Mayo or white miso paste
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup organic, unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/4 cups nondairy milk (almond, soy, or rice)
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
- vegan butter
- 1/2 bunch fresh chives, minced for garnish
- Make the beluga lentil caviar: Rinse the lentils and put them in a small pot with the water. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
- Drain the cooked lentils and place them in medium bowl. Add the salt, capers, and caper brine. Mix well and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, and a maxi¬mum of 2 days.
- Make the vegan sauce: Mix the vegan mayonnaise with the Miso Mayo in a small bowl and refrigerate until needed.
- Make the blini: In a medium bowl, combine the flours and baking powder. Whisk the nondairy milk and melted butter into the flour until a batter forms. Allow the batter to rest a few minutes.
- Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add a small dab of butter to the pan or spray it with nonstick cooking spray. To form each blin, pour a little more than a tablespoon of batter into the pan. You can usually cook 4 to 6 blini at a time. Wait until the pancakes begin to show air bubbles all over the tops and the bottoms are brown. Flip the blini over and cook until golden brown.
- Using the back of a spoon, spread a small amount of the Vegan Sour “Cream” on each blin, add a teaspoon of the beluga lentil caviar, and top with a pinch of minced chives. Serve immediately.