Thursday, 3 June 2010

Capers and Carob

Just in case you thought I haven't cooked or eaten any seasonal produce since I have been back from my holidays, here I am to show you that I have. This 'caper, black olive and potato salad' is made with Jersey Royals. We had this yesterday with some asparagus.
I have to mix in some holiday pictures. D and me had taken a walk along the Paphos harbour, where we came across some exotic delicate flowers. It was only later I learned that these were caper flowers.
Ds father told me that he often saw Cypriot women picking stems from the sides of roads, but was not sure what they were picking. I think I solved the mystery.
As later I realised that these were stems and capers buds. Sadly the fragile flowers had withered under the heat of the sunshine.
The first time I went to Cyprus I really enjoyed eating the pickled steams of capers. You will often see women in traditional wear at markets selling jars of home-made pickles made from young fresh caper buds. This time I noted many of those available had thorns. As someone who doesn't mind eating stinging nettles, of course I had a go, but was put off - not from the thorns, but the stems were tough and chewy. So you can understand why these need to be picked whilst still young and tender.
Still tasting the twang of the pickled stem capers in my mouth, ironically I actually fancied some. But as I don't have any pickled caper stems here, I had make do with the pickled caper buds instead.
Caper, black olives and new potato salad
Serves 4 - 6
1 large red potato sliced, thinly
potatoes, chopped and cooked until tender. Drain and set aside.
Juice of 1 lemon
125ml extra oil
50g black olives, sliced
2 - 3 tablespoons capers, minced
Optional: minced lettuce leaves or 2 tablespoons parsley
Combine the oil and lemon, then add in the olives and capers. Gently stir in the sliced onions and potato. Set aside for an hour for the flavours to infuse. When ready to serve, add in optional minced lettuce leaves or parsley.
Oh wheres the carob recipe? You'll have to wait a little while. I just fancied using it in the title (sorry). You can read a little about it here if you've missed it.


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