If you want to add a punch of flavor to dinner tonight, the answer could be as close as your supermarket’s self-serve olive bar.
The idea lets shoppers mix-and-match tasty orbs from tubs of shiny green, black and gray olives without the commitment of buying a whole jar that may languish in the back corner of the refrigerator.
Less-familiar things recently have been creeping into that mix, including the caperberry.
Caperberries actually look a lot like a type of olive. The greenish fruit is about the size of a grape with a stem. Cut it open and instead of a pit, the inside is starchy and seedy. Caperberries are typically brined like an olive but they have a less-intense, lemony flavor than tiny capers, although they come from the same plant.
Capers, an ingredient in tartar sauce, are the immature buds of the plant. Caperberries result if the buds are allowed to mature to fruit. Caperberries grow throughout the Mediterranean and you might have seen them on a typical Greek mezze platter. They also make an appearance in Italian and Spanish dishes.
Ayurvedic medical texts indicate caperberries are good for you, helping to relieve rheumatism and inflammation. But like any brined or pickled food, caperberries are high in sodium. To remove excess sodium, rinse caperberries before using as a garnish for The Star’sGrilled Chicken With Mediterranean Relish
• Shopping tips:
Caperberries are available at Whole Foods and World Market
Worried about sodium? Muir Glen offers a no-salt, fire-roasted tomato we purchased at Whole Foods.
• Storage tip:
If you purchase a jar of caperberries instead of shopping off the olive bar, the open jar should be capped tightly and kept refrigerated for no more than 6 months.