A rare import of Santorini, Greece, these salt-brined leaves are the product of the caper bush, or Capparis spinosa, which grows wild along the rocky slopes of the Caldera, and in between the stone-built walls of ancient Greek island vineyards. Utilized since antiquity, but nearly undiscovered by modern cuisine, the same bush produces the more commonly known caper bud and caper berry. These fleshy leaves taste similarly to caper berries, but have more eccentric, mineral nuances, and a toothy texture -- reminiscent of tea leaves or pickled artichoke. They are particularly appealing because they lay flat in sandwiches, and won’t roll off of fillets or bagels.
We love them in the same applications in which we enjoy capers: paired with seafood or chicken, in caprese or other bright summer salads; as a part of a charcuterie board, or diced up in vinaigrette. They pair well with cheeses and olives, and their lobe-like, classically Mediterranean shape, makes them a beautiful finishing garnish on small plates or amuse-bouche.