As I've admitted in detail, I had an unusual palate as a kid. I eschewed PB&J for dill pickle and deli mustard or sardine and cream cheese, and when I discovered capers in my early single digits I would pop them right out of the jar like candy. Sweet was nothing compared to sour. Now I know better, and while I still have no problem with pickle and mustard sandwiches (which I've since learned are great with meat and cheese), I'd rather have a PB&J. Or one of these early summer guys. Or maybe a Shooter. But that doesn't mean I don't still eat the occasional caper out of the jar.
Why capers and not just chopped up pickles? If you've never had the pleasure, these little berry buds have a sharper acidity and more pronounced vegetal flavor than their cuke counterparts. They're advanced pickles, not for the sensitive of tongue. They're sour enough to make your toes curl, and you don't need a lot of them to get your point across. Here's how I like to use them.
- Any sandwich that includes sliced eggs can also include capers
- As a middle layer in your Shooter sandwich. Seriously, make that fat beast sing.
- In tabouli
- On anything that gets smoked fish, including but not limited to whitefish salad and lox.
- In tuna and/or tuna pasta salad
- Instead of pickles in this tartar sauce recipe for your fried fish sandwich
- In a newer, better grilled cheese
But once you get addicted, you'll add them to pizza and pasta, sprinkle them on your steak and (when you lose your mind) pack them into an empty pepper mill instead of Cheetos. That's all the disclaimer I have, folks. Now I have a fried fish sandwich to locate.
More pickled goodness for lunch on Food Republic: