On the road in Santorini: Caper leaves

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When the salad was placed in front of me it looked like a regular Greek salad.  But as I tucked in I realized that there was something vastly different about this salad. Protruding from amidst the slabs of tomato were small olive green coloured leaves. At this point curiosity got the better of me and I quickly picked one out and popped it into my mouth for a taste. Although I had never tried one before, I  Instantly knew these were pickled caper leaves. Most of us have seen and wondered  what to do with capers, but the leaves? What we generally call capers are the pickled flower buds of the caper plant. They are pungent, bursting with flavour and used in a variety of Mediterranean dishes.  Brined in the same way and armed with the same flavour profile, the leaves are mellower, almost subtle in flavour and add complexity to dishes without dominating. They are great in salads and complement many meat dishes. So if you ever visit Santorini make sure you pick up a couple of jars from the old guys selling them on the side of the road. Caper leaves are a specialty there and should be enjoyed without reservation.

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