In this article, we're answering your questions about capers. You'll learn what they taste like, how to eat them, and how to turn your recipes into culinary masterpieces with them.
Let's get started...
What Do Capers Taste Like?
Did you know that capers are flower buds? They come from a Mediterranean bush called Capparis spinosa, or Flinders rose. The caper berries we know and love are pickled.
They taste briny and salty from the ingredients they're pickled with, but you'll probably notice an herbal quality. You'll also get hints of lemon and mustard seed in these complex buds. You'll also find that they're quite salty. Sort of like a super-concentrated olive.
Caper berries are a lot like green peas in texture—well, peas that haven't been cooked to a mushy state. They're on the firm side but squish easily as they're delicately tender.
You may notice them pop a little between your teeth like peas. This texture, along with a bit of chewiness, stays even after capers are cooked and simmered in sauces.
There's so much you can do with capers. Use them in pasta, salad dressing (particularly for vegan Caesar salad), marinades, vegan cheeses, bruschetta...the list goes on.
Italian cuisine is big on capers. Sauces of lemon juice, garlic and olive oil are ideal for caper berries, as are red sauces with olives and onions.
Make hummus, grilled summer squash, cilantro-basil pesto and veggie wraps with capers. If you want a new kind of pickle for your sandwiches, capers can add that tanginess with a bit more intrigue.
Do You Have to Cook Capers?
No, you don't have to cook capers at all. They can be snacked on straight from the jar. When you're making salad dressings, uncooked capers are best. But do note, we're using that term loosely because it's already cooked and heated in the jar. They're not raw.
Cooking isn't really going to do anything that'll change capers in any noticeable way. Heating them in sauces can encourage flavor infusion, but you can also get this effect by blending a sauce or dressing with raw capers in the food processor.
What Can I Substitute for Capers in a Recipe?
How Do You Cook with Capers?
Are you a fan of veggie cream cheese? This vegan cream cheese is like that, but better.
Buy these ingredients:
- Soft tofu
- Lemon juice
- Fresh dill
- Caper brine
What makes capers really special is that you can never mess up spaghetti with them. This pasta dish is going to change your world.
Here's everything you'll need:
- Olive oil
- Lemon zest
- Lemon juice
- Artichoke hearts
- Roasted red peppers
- Your preferred pasta