Broiled Salmon with Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette Recipe
Broiled Salmon with Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette

The caper, courtesy of its sharp and tangy bite, is responsible for the Mediterranean flavors of regional favorites, like chicken piccata and spaghetti puttanesca. Capers, most likely native to Asia, and abundantly grown in Mediterranean countries, such as Greece and Italy, have been coveted both as a cooking ingredient and medicine for thousands of years. Capers are mentioned in several ancient texts, including what is believed to be the first cookbook in the first century, A.D., and were used by early Greeks to treat rheumatism, flatulence, and promote a healthy liver.

Capers are the unopened flower buds of Capparis spinosa, a shrub also known as Flinders rose because the buds resemble the rose more than their closer relative, the cabbage. Once harvested, capers are pickled, usually in vinegar, or preserved in salt. Before bottling, the deep olive green capers are graded by size from about 7 to 16 millimeters, with the smallest deemed most desirable. Unharvested, the buds will flower and produce the larger caper berry, which is similarly pickled or preserved, and enjoyed. Tiny as they are, capers pack a supply of micronutrients, such as vitamins K and C, copper and iron.

In a study published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, scientists identified significant amounts of antioxidants and a fair amount of vitamin C in capers. A study published in the October 2007 Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that the high antioxidant components in caper extract helped prevent the oxidation of lipids of cooked meat, which has been linked to increased risk of cancer and heart disease. The effects were seen even in the small amounts of caper usually used in cooking (a caper/meat ratio of 1:10.)The scientists concluded that this benefit may help mitigate the harmful effects of eating diets rich in fat and meats.

Usually sold in small cans or jars, capers store well in the pantry; once opened, they should be covered and refrigerated. Drain and rinse capers (to reduce sodium) before adding to pasta and tartar sauce, salads, pizzas, meats and fish for their unique tang that is both mustard-like and peppery.

Capers are sure to enliven any dish and give it a gourmet twist along with a dash of health as in the following Broiled Salmon with Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette recipe.

Broiled Salmon with Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook time: 10 minutes

    Yield: Serves 4

Broiled Salmon with Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette Recipe Ingredients

    4 4-ounce salmon fillets

    2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

    Black pepper, to taste

    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

    2 tablespoons lemon juice

    Zest of one lemon

    1 tablespoon cider vinegar

    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

    2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed

    2 tablespoons fresh parsley

    1 tablespoon fresh dill

    2 green onions, sliced thin, for garnish

Broiled Salmon with Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette Recipe Directions

    1. Preheat the broiler.

    2. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with nonstick spray. Arrange the salmon fillets on the baking sheet, brush with 2 tsp olive oil and sprinkle with pepper.

    3. Broil for 7-9 minutes, until cooked through.

    4. In small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, zest, zest, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, capers, parsley and dill.

    5. Remove fish from oven. Spoon sauce over the fillets, garnish with green onion and serve.

Nutrition Information Per serving: 216 calories, 13 grams (g) fat, 0 g carbohydrates, 232 g protein, 0 g dietary fiber, 184 mg sodium.

Notable Nutrients

Capers, canned, 1 ounce

Calories: 6

Vitamin C: .2 mg (2 percent DV)

Vitamin K: 6.9 mcg (9 percent DV)

Folate: 6.4 mcg (2 percent DV)

Iron: .5 mg (3 percent DV)

Magnesium: 9.2 mg (2 percent DV)

Copper: .1 mg (5 percent DV)

DV= Daily Value, mg=milligrams

Broiled Salmon Recipe, American Cuisine


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Broiled Salmon Recipe topped with a Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette

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