Whole fresh Royale Dorade marinaded in homemade Lemon Caper Sauce and oven baked for a crispy crust and juicy flesh!
The Italian Affair
My first taste of capers was on our trip to Sicily. Today as I write the recipe of fish with lemon caper sauce, I feel the need to affirm my love for the cuisine which has inspired me since I tasted my first Spaghetti Bolognese, ‘ Ti amo L’Italia’
Everday during breakfast, they would put a small bowl of capers in the middle of the table along with olives!
Initially, I thought they belonged to the olive family, recently reunited or otherwise commonly known as hybrids!
After a bite of them, I was taken aback by its tangy taste and asked the waiter if it was some sort of pickled peas. He, with an equally bemused smile on my lack of knowledge, said ‘Capperri’. After he left I turned to my trusted know all google partner which translated it to ‘Capers’ in English!
Being true to my love of Italian food, I had to bring back the flavours home as a reminiscence of my rendezvous with capers!
Why I say I am in love with capers is because of its impressive quality as a flavour booster. It is amazingly versatile and can instantly give a dish, a different dimension of yum!
Capers, like cloves, are flower buds which come from a shrub-like bush. The tender fresh Capers are hand- picked long before flowering, dried and later packed in brine or salt.
Popularly used in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, North African, Southern European and Turkish cuisine, it has been around in the culinary world for long. My discovery of it has been recent though!
Capers go best with fish, egg, meat or chicken. However, my new found love of capers has made me use it in many forms. Some of the culinary possibilities that I have explored with this little emerald gems are:
- A caper pesto to go with pasta or steak
- A salad dressing
- Pizza and bruschetta topping
- In Antipasti platter
- Guacamole made with pesto and avocado
- Added to soups and stews as seasoning and for bite
- Balance the taste of sweet vegetables like beetroot, carrots, peas, sweet potato and pumpkin
Would love to hear your kitchen trials with capers. So please do comment below on your experience.
For now here is the recipe of Whole Fish with Lemon Caper Sauce
Whole fish grilled in a tangy lemon caper sauce
- Whole Fish ( you can also use fillets) - 1
- Capers - 2 tbsp
- Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
- Shallot - 1
- Garlic - 2 pods
- Mint leaves - 10 - 15 leaves
- Olive oil - 3 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- Put all the ingredients, capers, shallot, garlic, mint leaves and lemon juice in a blender and make a coarse lemon caper sauce like paste.
- Set the sauce aside for later use.
- NOTE : You can add olive oil to this sauce and keep in the fridge for 2 - 3 days and use for other preparations.
- Cut deep slits into the whole fish. You can skip this step if you are using fillets.
- Rub in salt and a tbsp to olive oil well into the fish and season.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the caper sauce and stir it well.
- Rub the sauce well into the fish including the slits and all over.
- Set aside for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 180 C.
- Put the fish on a baking try and cover with a foil.
- Bake covered for 8 mins.
- Remove foil and put the oven on grill(broil) and grill it for another 8 mins untill the skin turns slightly brown in colour.
- Serve with grilled vegetables and potatoes. (I made cheesy polenta)