This mighty caper vinaigrette will make any salad taste fancy and deliver the ultimate punch of delicious tangy flavour.
What Are Capers?
Tiny but mighty green morsels packed with a tangy, salty flavour, capers are essential in our pantry. We love adding capers to our salads, pastas and sauces.
So what are capers? Technically, they are flowers. What? Flowers? Yes, capers are the flower buds of a caper bush (Capparis Spinosa). It is native to Mediterranean countries, and therefore they are often found in their cuisine.
Capers are similar in size to a corn kernel but can be smaller. I do prefer the baby ones as I can add them whole to my recipes. Otherwise, you can chop them up.
Caper vs Caper Berries
Do not be confused between caper and caper berries. Capers are the flower bud whilst caper berries are the fruit.
Both capers and caper berries are generally pickled, but I find caper berries more mellow and less sharp than capers. Maybe it is due to the size. Caper berries are larger than capers, similar to a small olive in size.
What Do Capers Taste Like?
Capers are generally preserved in a salt and water brine or a mixture of brine and vinegar. Sometimes you will find them cured in salt.
The flavour profile of capers are salty, acidic, tangy and slightly bitter in one hit. There is a similarity to olive flavour, but more tangy, I find.
How To Use Capers In Cooking
Those little round buds really pack a punch when it comes to flavour. Capers not only adds salt but acidity to the dish.
Capers can lift sauces with the right amount of salt and help cut through the richness. They are also the perfect ingredient to deliver pops of tang in salads and delicious in dressings.
With the right amount of olive oil, chopped capers create mouthwatering texture and flavour in pasta. Capers are a great partner for fish, and you can even add to soups!
Like I’ve mentioned before, we always have a jar of capers in the pantry as it is so versatile in how we can use it.
Sometimes you don’t want a salad dressing to blend into the background. For this vinaigrette, I wanted not only a punchy dressing but one that has a chunky texture.
Capers are the perfect hero ingredient. Along with garlic, apple cider vinegar and a good dose of extra virgin olive oil, the combination is sharp, salty and unbelievably tangy.
You can also use caper vinaigrette over baked fish, grilled chicken, or even mushroom tart to add another layer of intensive flavours.
Caper Vinaigrette Ingredients
Capers: You can find them in your pickled vegetable aisle at the supermarket. Next to the olives and cornichons. I would buy the regular sized capers rather than the baby ones as you have to chop them up for this recipe finely.
Garlic: To increase the vinaigrette’s intensity, we add a clove of garlic for full flavour and punch.
Apple cider vinegar: good quality vinegar with a hint of sweetness.
Extra virgin olive oil: Adding to the sharpness of the vinaigrette, use a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
Salt and pepper: to taste.
How to Make Caper Vinaigrette
Finely chop capers and place in a small mixing bowl.
Crush and finely mince one garlic clove and add to the mixing bowl.
Add the liquids: apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to the mixing bowl and stir well to combine the capers, garlic, vinegar and oil together.
Taste and then season with salt and pepper. You may not need much salt as the capers can be quite salty. Adjust accordingly.
Best Salad for This Dressing
Creamy bocconcini mixed with sweet cherry tomatoes and strawberries along with a caper vinaigrette that explodes in flavour. A quick and colourful Bocconcini Salad perfect for the summer months.
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- Finely chop capers and place in a small mixing bowl.
- Crush and finely mince one garlic clove and add to the mixing bowl.
- Add the liquids: apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to the mixing bowl and stir well to combine the capers, garlic, vinegar and oil together.
- Taste and then season with salt and pepper. You may not need much salt as the capers can be quite salty. Adjust accordingly.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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