Crunchy, salty things can improve almost any situation. The other evening, I was enjoying a fancy beverage at a fancy cocktail bar like a fancy lady, thinking about what a nice evening I was having, when the bartender set down a little ramekin of popped sorghum and fried capers, elevating the moment even further. The sorghum was good — it’s basically tiny popcorn! — but the capers were a revelation.
Beyond being an excellent cocktail snack, the salty, slightly pungent, crispy flower buds bring joy to whatever you sprinkle them on. They’re great on a salad, on top of chicken, mixed in a batch of french fries, or sprinkled over a baked potato. They are also incredibly easy to make. You can fry capers in any oil, but I used duck fat, because it was there and I am very smart. To make them, you will need:
Brined capers (as many as you like)
Enough duck fat to come up about an inch in your pan or other cooking vessel
Heat the oil over medium-high. While it’s warming up, drain the capers and let them dry on paper towels. (Water and oil are not great friends, and throwing wet capers into hot oil can cause quite the splatter.)
Once the oil has been heating for five minutes or so, try a test caper. The petals should open up and turn darker in colour, and it should only take about 45 seconds. Once the oil is hot enough, scoop the rest of the capers into the oil, let them cook for 45 seconds, and scoop them out with a slotted spoon onto paper towels. Sprinkle them over anything that needs a bit of joy, or just eat them by the handful.