There is nothing like the distinctive flavor of capers to liven up your favorite Mediterranean dishes. “Capers are commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine and they pair beautifully with things like salad, fish and pasta,” says foodie Daniel Delaney in his video series, What’s This Food?!.
It’s no wonder capers are a favorite among foodies! Not only does their piquant, slightly tangy flavor makes them an excellent addition to Mediterranean dishes like authentic scaloppini and picatta recipes, they are naturally low in carbs, contain no fat and are versatile enough to go with just about any meal any time of the day- breakfast, lunch or dinner.
One of our favorite secrets to amazing Mediterranean dishes is Caper Butter. This video clip dishes out some fun facts about capers along with a knock out Caper Butter recipe (grab a pen and paper, you’ll want to remember this).
FACT: Capers are the unripened flower buds of a perennial bush native to the Mediterranean. Caper bushes can be spotted growing wild in rocky crags and on coastal cliffs. Capers are picked by hand each morning as soon as they reach the desired size, then dried in the hot Mediterranean sun. While they are sometimes found packed in sea salt, most capers are pickled in a brine of vinegar or wine. Pickled capers can be used straight from the jar.
FACT: Capers range in size from that of a small peppercorn, such as the prized non-pareil variety from Southern France, to the size of a small pea.
FACT: In her book, From Julia Child’s Kitchen, Child suggests replacing half of the brine in a jar of capers with vermouth to improve their flavor.
Here are some more tips on how to enjoy them:
- In a food processor, mix Jeff’s Naturals Sun-ripened Dried Tomatoes with pitted Kalamata Olives, Jeff’s Naturals Imported Non-Pareil Capers, garlic, anchovy filets, lemon juice and olive oil for a terrific tapenade. Spread it on fish or chicken before baking or serve it as a spread with crackers or crusty bread.
- Combine Jeff’s Naturals Imported Non-Pareil Capers in a hot pan with butter, lemon juice, and white wine for a classic Chicken Picatta.
- Mix Jeff’s Naturals Imported Non-Pareil Capers into mayonnaise along with lemon juice and chopped chives for a sophisticated twist on a classic tartar sauce.
- Add Jeff’s Naturals Imported Non-Pareil Capers to sautéed onions and garlic. Dice tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, and anchovy filets. Mix together with basil and crushed red pepper flakes for an alluring Puttanesca pasta sauce.
- Dress up your favorite pasta or potato salad recipe with a few spoonfuls of Jeff’s Naturals Imported Non-Pareil Capers.
- Top a pizza with thinly sliced fresh tomatoes, minced garlic, fresh oregano and a sprinkling of Jeff’s Naturals Imported Non-Pareil Capers.
- Add a couple spoonfuls of Jeff’s Naturals Imported Non-Pareil Capers to a Salade Niçoise with seared tuna, anchovies, hard-boiled egg, sliced potatoes, green beans, and olives in a Dijon vinaigrette.
- For a tangy vegetarian version of a classic Caesar salad, use Jeff’s Naturals Imported Non-Pareil Capers in place of the traditional anchovies.
photo credit: New Jar of Capers 02.18.09  via photopin (license)