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Rye Berry Caviar

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Rye Berry Caviar is a delicious faux topping that adds chewy texture and rich savory flavor as a condiment or dip.

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I love caviar and the wonderful flavor and texture it adds to oysters, sushi or any number of appetizers. Rye Berry Caviar is a fun “poor man’s” version that mimics the chewy texture of fish roe but with a savory flavor coming from the black olives and garlic. I love having a jar of this topping on hand in my refrigerator and it is a staple for our Christmas and New Year’s feasts.

The Process:

Rye Berries are the whole-grain form of rye with only the hull removed. When cooked, they have a mild, walnut-like flavor and a firm, chewy texture. Rye is an important grain in Nordic countries as historically wheat was often difficult to grow in the colder climates. I personally love the taste of rye and enjoy using not only the flour but the berries in a variety of recipes. For the Rye Berry Caviar, the rye berries are simply cooked in simmering water for about an hour until tender. When cooled, they can be stored under refrigeration for about a week.

For this recipe, I like using California black olives. They have a nice briny flavor but are not pungent enough to overwhelm the delicate rye berry flavor. Garlic, the olives, a bit of Dijon mustard, salt and olive oil are combined in a food processor.

Once chopped, the olive mixture is ready to add to the rye berries.

The “caviar” is now ready! It can be stored, refrigerated, for about a week. Be sure to bring the Rye Berry Caviar to room temperature for serving. Use it as a topping on my Seeded Scandinavian Crisps, Swedish Oat Flatbread, soups, stews or salads.

Rye Berry Caviar

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Rye Berry Caviar is a delicious faux topping that adds chewy texture and rich savory flavor as a condiment or dip.


  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup small pitted black olives
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups cooked rye berries, chilled


  • Chop garlic in food processor. Add the olives, salt, mustard and oil and process until the olives are finely minced.
  • Place the cooked rye berries in a serving bowl and add the olive mixture; toss gently to mix.
  • Serve on crisps or flatbread, use as a garnish for soups or stews or on salads.


To Cook Rye Berries:
Combine ¾ cup uncooked rye berries and 3 cups cold water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for about 60 minutes until al dente, adding a bit more water if needed. Drain and cool thoroughly. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about a week.

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