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Help needed for caper overload

Posted by ruthanna (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 14, 11 at 10:07

Our family likes capers so I buy them in 25 ounce jars packed in a vinegar solution. DH accidentally opened a jar when there was already a half full one in the refrigerator so I now have about a quart on hand. They'll keep for a long time but I'd like to reduce the inventory down to one jar.

They're the tiny little ones and I use them in chicken or veal picatta, caponata, tuna or fish salads, eggplant pasta sauce, and some other dishes but I could use some new ideas/recipes to speed up emptying the older jar.

What are your favorite ways to use capers?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help needed for caper overload

Deviled eggs is all I can think of right now.

RE: Help needed for caper overload

Chicken Marbella and Pasta Puttanesca are my most-used dishes for it.

RE: Help needed for caper overload

What are capers? I never really knew. Maybe I'll go google it. Is there a caper tree or bush somewhere?

RE: Help needed for caper overload

I love capers! Here are a few recipes we like. The last one is a bit like Picatta but the black olives make it a bit different.

We also like them sprinkled on cold smoke salmon along with a slice of red onion and a splash of lemon.

Shrimp With Capers, Black Olives And Dill

1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
some olive oil
1 Lb of raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 Tbl of fresh lemon juice
2 Tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbl chopped fresh dill
2 Clove of garlic, minced
the green parts of 2 scallions, chopped
1 Tbl chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbl of grated lemon zest
2 Tbl of capers, rinsed
1/4 cup sliced black olives
splash of white wine
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a bowl, mix the extra-virgin olive oil, the herbs, capers and mustard and stir until blended. Adjust flavouring according to your taste, salt and pepper if needed. Set aside.
2. Place a large skillet on your stovetop and bring to a medium-high heat. Season your shrimp with salt and pepper and add a couple of turns of olive oil and quickly saute until just pink. Remove your shrimp with a slotted spoon and reserve.
3. Deglaze your skillet with a splash of wine and after you've loosened up any brown bits, add your shrimp back into the skillet along with the caper and dill sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir to warm the sauce through and finish cooking the shrimp.
4. Serve warm or room temperature as an appetizer, sprinkle some chopped fresh dill, with a slice of lemon, crusty bread and a fruity wine to hold up to the acidity in the sauce.

Pasta Puttanesca

1 pound spaghetti -- linguine or other
-thin pasta
2 Cans best grade Italian plum
1/4 cup best quality olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to
1/2 cup black olives -- Sliced
1/4 cup capers -- drained
4 garlic cloves -- minced
8 anchovy fillets -- chopped
-coarsely (or less)
1/2 cup Italian parsley -- chopped

Drain the tomatoes and cut in half. Combine the tomatoes and olive
oil in a skillet and bring to a boil. Keep the sauce at a boil and add
all remaining ingredients except pasta, stirring as you add. Reduce
heat and simmer until the sauce has reached a consistency you like.

Meanwhile bring 4 quarts salted water to the boil. Cook pasta until
tender but still firm. Drain and toss with sauce. Serve immediately
with fresh grated Parmesan.

Pork Medallions With Olive and Caper Sauce -Stacy

1 pound pork tenderloin -- trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil -- divided
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup coarsely pitted -- Chopped
-kalamata olives
2 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoon fresh flat leaf -- Chopped

Cut pork crosswise into 8 pieces. Place each pork piece between 2
sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and pound to ¼ inch thickness using
a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle both sides of pork with salt and
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place
flour in a shallow bowl. Dredge pork in flour, turning to coat; shake
off excess flour.
Heat 1 ½ tsp olive oil in a nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add
half of pork, and cook for 2 min on each side or until pork is done.
Remove pork from pan and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining
olive oil and pork.
Return pork to pan. Add wine and broth, bring to a boil. Stir in olives
and capers; cook 4 min. Sprinkle with parsley.
4 servings (2 pork medallions and 2 tbsp sauce each)

Lemon Chicken With Capers & Black Olives (Serves 4) Ginger


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (or veal)
2 Tbl flour
1 Tbl olive oil
15 Oz can chicken broth
4 Tbl capers
2 Tbl sliced black olives
2 Tbl lemon juice
1 Tbl cornstarch
1/3 Cup water
Cooked wild rice (I used basmati)

Dredge chicken in flour. Saute chicken in olive oil in medium saucepan until cooked through. Remove chicken & add the broth to the saucepan. Bring broth to boil, reduce heat & simmer.
Mix cornstarch with warm water until blended; stir into broth. Add capers, black olives & lemon juice to broth mixture. Serve chicken with sauce over rice.

RE: Help needed for caper overload

I love capers too. Here is one of our easy favorites:

Caper Salad

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head Boston lettuce, cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons capers-rinse as they are salty

    Combine the mayonnaise, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a container. Put the lid on the container and shake until contents are well combined. Add capers and shake or mix.

    Break the lettuce into leaves and place on 4 plates. Drizzle with the vinaigrette.

  •  o
    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    Bought a MASSIVE jar of capers at one of those warehouse places once. Probably a half GALLON at great price. I RE-canned them into half pint or smaller Ball jars. Figured the brine is SOOOO salty, vinegary, almost alcoholy... what could be a problem. Needless to say, it didn't kill me. Even sister, who MOCKED me for the size of the jar, was happy to take a jar.

    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    When I bake salmon, I put capers on top, along with dill, white pepper, lemon juice, and dots of butter. I bake it in a covered dish for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon. No salt is needed because you get enough from the capers, and the lemon juice also reduces the need for salt.

    I have used them in place of anchovies to make Caesar salad dressing, although generally for that I use anchovies stuffed with capers.


    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    Pam, capers (sold at Trader Joe's, try 'em!) are small, pickled buds of the caper plant. Wiki link below. They add a nice flavor to dishes but I wouldn't eat too many out of the jar by themselves, LOL. Now anchovies - I can do major damage to a small can on my own if I'm not restrained.

    Sitting in my fridge from a meal or two ago - kinda POOFed -

    Mediterranean Bean Salad?

    1 can white beans (or garbanzos)
    1 can drained tuna
    Capers to taste

    Chop and add to taste:
    Italian parsley
    oil packed sun dried tomatoes (TJs again)
    (also can add roasted red peppers)
    diced red onion

    Dressing of choice - EVOO, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice
    Additionals - dried Italian herbs, Herbs de Provence etc.

    Here is a link that might be useful: wiki capers

    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    Pickled flower buds -- who knew. And there is such a thing as a caper bush. I thought they were small seeds or nuts. Of course, I also thought that olives grew with pimientos in them. I just eat stuff, I don't necessarily explore their origins.

    I don't go looking for or avoid capers. I always thought they were kind of tasteless. I will have to pay closer attention.

    Thanks, Jessy.

    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    I like them alongside finely chopped gherkins in fish pies and fishcakes.

    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    One of our favorite restaurants serves a caesar salad with a crispy caper. My guess is that they've been fried in some manner. They are delicious, no croutons needed!

    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    Thanks so much. Every recipe sounds like something we'd like and also fits in with our eating plan so by spring, I should have tried them all.

    I'll be making Chicken Marbella this weekend.

    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    Pam - Try them again. You may like them or you may not but they're certainly anything but tasteless.

    Anyone ever tried the ones packed in salt? I have not.

    I made chicken picata last night as a result of this thread - thanks for the idea!

    This won't use up much of your capers, but I love this sauce for salmon. I think the source is a NY Times cookbook.

    1/2 cup chives
    1/3 cup lowfat yogurt
    2T chopped dill or sweet pickle
    2T lowfat mayo
    2t drained, chopped capers
    1/2t sugar
    1/4t salt
    pinch pepper

    Refrigerate and then bring to room temp for serving.

    The rest of the recipe -
    2T fresh dill
    2t lemon zest
    2t paprika
    1/2t salt
    1/4t cayenne

    Coat salmon with olive oil and spice blend, let marinate for a while, pan fry.

    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    Throw them in crab cakes. Evidently, they go well with fish/seafood. There are a lot of those suggestions on this thread!

    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    Crispy capers? That sounds interesting.

    Capers in salt-yes, I have use them. You are suppose to rinse them before use but I don't. Of course, I over salt everything so I can't give unbiased feedback on them.

    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    Rob, I often use capers with seafood. I'll add this recipe here in case anyone searches capers at a later date.

    FRESH FISH PICCATA - serves 2

    1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
    3/4 pound thin (1/4 to 3/8 inch) slices of filleted fish**
    1 small lemon, peeled and sliced, each slice cut into 8 to 12 pieces
    1/8 tsp. salt
    1/8 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
    1 1/2 tsp. small capers, well rinsed and dried
    2 Tbs. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

    Heat the oil in a skillet, add the fillets and cook over medium-high heat only about 1 minute on each side. Remove to a heated platter

    Add the lemon pieces, salt, pepper, and capers to the skillet and when hot, pour over the sauteed fish. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

    ** - This recipe works best with thin fillets. My favorites are striped bass (not the thick Chilean sea bass), rockfish, red snapper or flounder. Sole or tilapia would also be good prepared this way.

    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    Seems to me I remember 2 kinds of capers? Big ones and little and they are buds of different plants....or did I dream that???

    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    Yup the big ones are 'caper berries', usually served as part of an appetizer anti pasta thingy.

    I sent a jar IIRC to stacy3 in a swap.....

    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    Interestingly enough, I understand pickled nasturtium buds are a homemade substitute for the more expensive capers.

    We love 'em with our lox and bagels and cream cheese. And of course, in homemade tartar sauce. Which, if you're making a fish fry, can use up a whole lot of sauce!

    There's a local restaurant that makes great little catfish nuggets, and DH practically piles the tartar sauce half an inch thick on every bite, LOL.

    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    Stacy's Pork Medallions with Olive and Caper Sauce is wonderful. I've made that several times.

    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    You can use the capers to make a Remoulade sauce.

    The remoulade sauce recipe was basically lifted from a Mark Bittman cookbook, and modified for the ingredients on hand.

    Remoulade sauce ingredients (as I made it):

    * 1 cup mayonnaise
    * 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
    * 1 small garlic clove, minced
    * 2 Tbsp chopped capers
    * 2 Tbsp chopped parsley (I used 1 Tbsp dried parsley)
    * 1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon, or a pinch of dried
    * 1 Tbsp Kosciusko Spicy Brown Mustard
    * 1/4 tsp cayenne, or to taste
    * 1/2 tsp paprika (mostly for color)
    * 1 tsp anchovy paste (optional)

    The sauce works well as a dipping sauce for shrimp or in place of tartar sauce for fish, but I most often use it by slathering a piece of fish with it before broiling it.

    RE: Help needed for caper overload

    This is really good, and on my mennu for next week using some of the fish I got last weekend. I have used cod in place of the sole and it's still delish.

    Fillet of Sole with Lemon-Caper Butter and Seared Spinach
    Source: Suzanne Somers "Eat Great, Lose Weight"

    1 T olive oil
    2 large sole fillets
    1/4 c chicken broth
    1 T butter
    2 T drained capers
    2 T fresh parsley, finely chopped, plus additional for garnish
    Juice from 1-1/2 lemons

    Heat a saut� pan large enough for both pieces of fish. Add olive oil and then the fish, saut� about 3 minutes per side. Remove fish and keep warm. With the heat still on high, add the chicken broth and reduce by half. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter until well combined. Stir in the capers, parsley and half the lemon juice. Set aside.

    Seared Spinach

    1 T olive oil, divided
    1 lb fresh spinach, torn, rinsed and spun dry
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tsp of the olive oil, then the spinach. Saute for about a minute until just wilted. Sprinkle with Salt & pepper. Arrange on two plates.

    Return the pan with the caper sauce to medium heat. Place the fish back in the pan to reheat, spooning sauce over the fish. Place a fillet on top of the spinach on each plate, drizzle with remaining sauce and olive oil. Garnish with remaining parsley.


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