Cook the Book: Black Olive Mini Blinis with Pink Mascarpone, Salmon, and Preserved Beet

Cook the Book: Black Olive Mini Blinis with Pink Mascarpone, Salmon, and Preserved Beet

[Photograph: Oof Verschuren]

Home Made is a great cocktail party cookbook. Author Yvette van Boven has put together helpful tutorials on how to stock your home bar with all sorts of tasty infusions as well as enough bite-sized snackables to keep your guests sated all night long without serving a formal dinner.

Keeping with the DIY theme of Home Made these Black Olive Mini Blinis with Pink Mascarpone, Salmon, and Preserved Beet embrace two of van Boven's made-from-scratch techniques: preserving and working with yeasted doughs. Here, thin slices of parboiled beets are quick preserved in honey and raspberry vinegar and the yeasted dough is for fantastically nutty little buckwheat blinis.

Once your little pancake-like bases are crisped up, they are split and sandwiched with mascarpone, a bit of beet juice for color, salty slices of smoked salmon, and a single disk of sweet and sour preserved beet. Totally elegant and absolutely impressive, these blinis are just a taste of the wonderful apero hour snacks that van Boven shares in Home Made.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Home Made to give away this week.

Reprinted with permission from Home Made by Yvette van Boven, copyright © 2011. Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang.

  • Yield:makes about 20 filled blini
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour 30 minutes


  • For the blini batter:
  • ¾ cup pitted black olives
  • ⅓ cup buckwheat flour
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package dried yeast (2¼  tsp)
  • 1 cup lukewarm low-fat milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • For the filling:
  • 1 small beet, parboiled
  • ½ cup raspberry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ⅓ cup mascarpone
  • 4 oz smoked salmon
  • And also:
  • Butter or oil for pan frying


  1. 1.

    Grind the olives in a food processor. Add the flours, egg, and yeast. Add the milk in a trickle while stirring. Add a pinch of salt. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

  2. 2.

    Cut or slice the beet into very fine slices. Collect the red juice by cutting it over a bowl. Combine the vinegar and honey, season with salt and pepper, and pour over the beet slices. Set aside.

  3. 3.

    Stir the collected red juice into the mascarpone and season with salt and pepper. Heat a flapjack pan, butter the cavities, and pour a spoonful of batter into each cavity. If you don’t own a flapjack pan, you can also pour small spoonfuls into a shallow skillet. You may find it easiest with a squeeze bottle if you have one available. Cook until slightly risen and done in a few minutes.

  4. 4.

    Cover the blinis with a layer of pink cream, a slice of salmon, and a slice of beet.