Capers are petite, brined flower buds with a unique salty character. Learn how to choose the finest ones and integrate them into your recipes. But be aware that they may be small but full of flavour.
What Are Capers?
Capers are the dainty flower buds harvested from the Capparis bush native to the Mediterranean. Due to being handpicked, they tend to be on the pricier side. Still, they are an invaluable larder staple, ideally suited for adding a characteristic tangy, salty note to a broad range of savoury dishes.
How to Prepare Capers
Thoroughly rinse and blot dry.
How to Cook with Capers
Blend with white wine vinegar, mustard, honey, lemon juice, and grated celeriac to whip up a remoulade; combine with melted butter, lemon juice, and zest to concoct a sauce for grilled salmon; use for a homemade tartare sauce.
How to Store Capers
Keep them in a cool, shaded area. Once the jar is unsealed, store it in the fridge and ensure the capers stay submerged beneath the level of their brining liquid to prevent them from developing an off-odour.
Availability of Capers
Capers can be purchased all year round.
Choosing the Best Capers
The tiniest, peppercorn-sized capers, known as 'nonpareille', are available, although the marginally larger varieties are more prevalent. Capers can be preserved using various methods - be it salt, wine vinegar, brine, or olive oil. The brine-cured option offers the most robust flavour but is somewhat less versatile compared to the salted kind. For a more sophisticated caper experience, opt for the more refined caper berries on the stem, which are somewhat milder and sweeter than the traditional sort.