Italian Beef Carpaccio with Balsamic Caviar.jpg

Italian Beef Carpaccio with Balsamic Caviar

This classic Italian dish makes an elegant starter.

How long will it take?

1 hour, plus chilling time

What’s the serving size?

Serves 4

What do I need?

  • 400 g beef tenderloin
  • ¼ bunch fresh oregano, chopped
  • ¼ bunch fresh basil, chopped
  • Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 200 mL olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 100 g rocket
  • 12 green olives
  • 16 cherry bocconcini
  • 100 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • For the Balsamic Caviar
  • 2 g agar agar
  • 160 mL balsamic vinegar
  • 210 mL olive oil

How do I make it?

  1. Place beef tenderloin in freezer for 1 hour to make slicing easier.
  2. Make the Balsamic Caviar by filling a tall freezer safe glass with olive oil and placing in the freezer for 30 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, add agar agar and balsamic vinegar to a saucepan over medium heat and stir well. Bring mixture to the boil and stir to make sure the agar agar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. 
  4. Remove oil from the freezer. Pour balsamic mixture into a squeezy bottle (like an old sauce bottle) and slowly add droplets of the vinegar mixture into the cold olive oil. Continue until all balsamic is used. Drain Balsamic Caviar through a fine sieve and transfer to a clean container. Set aside.
  5. Prepare beef marinade by adding oregano, basil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a bowl and mixing well.
  6. Remove beef from freezer and slice very thinly. Arrange slices on a chilled plate and top with marinade. Add rocket, olives, bocconcini, and tomatoes and sprinkle with Balsamic Caviar.


  • A serrated knife or a really sharp chef’s knife are the best choices for cutting the beef. The slices should be paper thin.
  • If you have trouble slicing the beef thinly enough, you can place slices between two sheets of baking paper or cling film and roll them with a rolling pin.
  • The Balsamic Caviar will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. 
  • You can use vegetable oil instead of olive oil for the Balsamic Caviar but the combination of olive oil and balsamic produces a classic flavour profile.
  • It’s important to make sure the oil does not stay in the freezer for too long or it will start to solidify. The oil must be cold enough that the balsamic vinegar is able to form into caviar before it hits the bottom of the glass but not so cold that it has solid components that impede the vinegar.

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