Cypriot Capers in Brine

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April 30, 2002

In Cyprus, in Greece, and in many Mediterranean countries, capers grow wild on the craggy hillsides, simply waiting to be discovered and picked. In Cyprus, a salad is made not only using the tangy buds of the plant, but the leaves as well. Next time you’re in an area where wild capers can be harvested, try this delicious Cypriot dish.

1 bag wild capers with leaves
1 1-quart glass container with lid
1 quart (plus or minus) water
3-4 tablespoons salt (or more as needed)
1 egg
2-3 tablespoons good white wine vinegar
1 lemon, sliced

Carefully pick any thorns from the caper leaves and put them, together with buds, in jar. Make brine mixture: Measure enough water to cover the capers into a glass measuring cup. Add salt one tablespoonful at a time, until an egg placed in the water floats with about a quarter-sized piece of its shell above the water. Stir brine and pour over capers. Place lid on tightly and leave in a cool, well-ventilated place. Change water daily for about two weeks, until capers have absorbed briny flavor. Add vinegar, stir, and store jar in refrigerator; to serve salad, simply remove capers and leaves with a slotted spoon, place on plate, and garnish with lemon slices.


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