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How to use capers (and four favorite recipes)

Four favorite ways to use capers, with chicken or seafood (The Perfect Pantry).

If you were to show up at my kitchen door and conduct a surprise inspection, you'd always find at least one half-full jar of capers in the rack in the refrigerator door. I don't use capers often, but when I do, they add just exactly the right lemony, salty, bright flowery taste, and nothing else can take their place.

The unopened buds of a Mediterranean shrub, capers are picked by hand, sorted by size, and brined or packed in salt immediately to preserve their moisture. Rinse under cold water, drain, and use them raw or cooked. My original post about capers has more information.

Of the many recipes in The Perfect Pantry that call for capers, here are four favorites:

Salmon burgers with green yogurt sauce (The Perfect Pantry).

Light and moist salmon burgers with green yogurt sauce.

Chicken Marbella, on The Perfect Pantry.

Chicken Marbella, my easy adaptation of a classic.

Chicken and avocado lettuce boats with buttermilk Dijon dressing, on The Perfect Pantry.

Chicken and avocado lettuce boats with buttermilk Dijon dressing, each one a meal in a "bowl".

Roasted shrimp po' boy, on The Perfect Pantry.

A sandwich to make New Orleans proud, lightened up a bit, roasted shrimp po' boy with Greek yogurt cole slaw and remoulade sauce.

What's your favorite way to use capers?

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Mmmmm - I love using capers with smoked salmon, and in the white sauce for a fish pie. Your Chicken Marbella looks scrumptious!

Hmm I think I'll be needing a lot of capers too. Love ideas in here.

Michelle, capers and fish are such a natural. And thanks for reminding me I haven't made fish pie in ages.

Jeane, I love all of these recipes, and I hope you will, too.

glad to see marbella on the list. that gets my vote any day.

Hi Lydia, thanks for this post. I absolutely adore capers but I don't use them as often as I should. Thanks for sharing these wonderful recipes and I might just use capers now more often! :) They add so much to a dish.

Janis, it's one of my all-time favorite recipes, too.

Foodwanderings, there are so many ingredients in the pantry that get overlooked. That's the rationale behind this blog -- get those ingredients out of the pantry and into your cooking more often! Hope you enjoy some of these recipes.

I'm crazy about capers. They're something I nearly always double if I find them in a recipe. All your ideas look so good.

Aside from the fact that I can just eat them out of the jar, the first dish I ever had them in were Königsberger Klopse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%B6nigsberger_Klopse) - one of my all time favorite comfort foods!

All of your ideas sound yummy! I like capers in tapenade...and I like tapenade on thick, grilled, bone-in pork chops. (Come, spring.)

Kalyn, sometimes I love how my blog reminds me to cook from the pantry more often.

Susanne, thanks for sharing that!

Alyce, I do love tapenade and have a wonderful recipe for it here on the blog.

I adore capers and add them to all kinds of dishes where they are usually not found.

Donna, capers often find their way into dishes that call for preserved lemons in my kitchen. What else do you do with them?

Right now my main use for capers is on Stealth Bagels. I've got 2 kids in braces, bagels are a no-no according to the orthodontist, so I have to sneak my lox-cream cheese-red onion-capers-on-everything-bagels when I can.

I also love to throw capers in with chopped fresh summer tomatoes, let them marinate for a while, and use the sauce as a topping for pasta or polenta.

Kirsten, stealth bagels -- I love that! I love using capers in a warm tomato sauce, but haven't tried marinating the tomatoes. Thanks for another great idea.

I use capers often - never rinsed them though... I guess we like the full flavor! And I always have them in my pantry - and fridge.

Oh I am crazy for capers but never seem to eat them as often as I would like- Is it too late for a New Year's Resolution?!

Have you got any vegetarian recipe ideas? My hubby eats dairy but no meat or fish :(

Well I didn't know that you were suppose to rinse them first. No wonder they were so salty.

I like putting capers in tartar or aioli sauce. But my favorite caper meals are any Italian Picatta dish.

I use capers in a dish called "Russian Salad" Capers provide a distinct flavor to this dish. Without capers, Russian salad would be a completely different dish. The salad is made with diced potatoes (1/2"cubes) carrots, peas, dill pickles. I use cooking times of 8 mins for potatoes, 15 mins for carrots and 3 mins for peas. Diced dill pickles and a generous helping of capers is added to the mixture. Home made mayonnaise is mixed in to give you the best taste. Store bought mayonnaise is a no no. This is a very tasty and rich salad. You can even use it to make a sandwich like you would with tuna salad.

Could capers be used in tuna pate? I'm
bringing this for a Christmas eve 7 fishes.

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