How-to: Nasturtium Capers
Amanda was recently at Isa in Williamsburg and they served up what she thought were Wasabi peas, only to learn they were Nasturtium capers. Nasturtium are amazing, we planted them as companion plants next to our Kale and cucumbers. They ward of some pests and are supposedly great companion plants. We only found out later that they are also entirely edible, the leaves are great in a salad. Their petals are also edible and can make nice color accents to a salad or other cold dish. But most importantly, their berries make good faux capers.
Step 1: Pick the berries
They show up in mid-late fall, for us that was around mid-October. They are typically in triplets and are green berries that hang from the vines in and among the leaves. The berries easily pop-off and can be collected up in a small basket.
Step 2: Brining
We brined our berries, boiling water with salt – 2 tbsp of salt for each cup of water. We ended up making two cups for all of our capers. We boiled some small Ball jars to sterilize them, put the washed berries in the jars, and then poured the boiling briny water over the berries. We sealed the jars and left them for 3 days on our counter at room temperature.
After a few days we drained off the salt water and pickled the berries. We mixed 3/4 of a cup of white vinegar (a mix of apple and white wine vinegar), 2 teaspoons of sugar, some fresh thyme, and a few bay leaves. We brought it all to a boil and then poured it over our berries, sealed them up, and put them in the fridge for a couple of weeks.