The Bougie Ingredient Ina Garten Adds To Deviled Eggs

Celebrity chef Ina Garten doesn't shy away from enjoying the finer things in life. Her favorite cheese shop is located in Paris, and her go-to specialty food store is in Italy. But the "Barefoot Contessa" star and cookbook author also has expressed her love for upgrading simpler meals.

There are plenty of dishes that Garten elevates with a single ingredient. To top off her deviled eggs, for example, she adds a scoop of salmon roe to enhance the appetizer. "I love high-low food," she explained in an Instagram post showing off the eggs, "when you take something familiar and make it special."

Her deviled egg recipe, which comes from her 2010 cookbook "How Easy is That?", starts off similarly to the classic deviled eggs we know and love, albeit with the addition of a little bit of smoked salmon in the mixed yolk filling. However, once the filling is piped into the egg whites, Garten scoops on a dollop of salmon roe to finish off the dish. The roe is not only visually striking, but also adds depth of flavor and textural contrast without overpowering the beloved snack.

Roe improves the taste of deviled eggs

The addition of the salmon roe garnish enhances the appearance of the deviled eggs, Ina Garten noted on "Barefoot Contessa," since it adds a vibrant red-orange color to an otherwise monochromatic appetizer. The bubbly texture of the ingredient also adds a welcome contrast to the creamy dish. While the deviled eggs and whipped filling should be smooth, the roe will pop when bitten into. The inside of the fish eggs will be a little juicier than their thicker, oily exterior — like a fishy-flavored boba pearl.

The roe can also offer a positive umami flavor boost to the deviled eggs. They're primarily salty with a hint of sweetness — similar to the taste of salmon, and complementary to the minced fish in the luxurious yolk filling. The roe also features some slightly bitter notes, which may help cut through the ultra richness of the eggs to make for a more delicious tasting bite.

Incorporate your leftover roe into another creamy appetizer

If you find yourself with leftover roe, don't worry: Deviled eggs aren't the only dish Ina Garten adds these fish eggs to. In the caption of her Instagram post, she also mentioned her love for her caviar dip recipe. This appetizer mixes a few different creamy ingredients — such as sour cream and cream cheese — and seasonings with some salmon roe. The dip is then topped with even more of the fish eggs before being served. Although it can be enjoyed with some artisan crackers or spread on some fresh-baked bread, Garten said she also enjoys eating it alongside some simple potato chips, which pair well with caviar.

Although Garten uses the terms "roe" and "caviar" interchangeably in this recipe, the two are actually slightly different. Caviar refers specifically to eggs harvested from a few types of sturgeon, while roe is an umbrella term encompassing all kinds of fish eggs. Caviar is generally a bit saltier than roe, and feels a little firmer. Fortunately, since they are both eggs harvested from fish, they're similar enough in flavor and texture to make acceptable substitutes for one another in dips and on top of deviled eggs.