Lemon Confit and Fried Caper Relish

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Lemon Confit and Fried Caper RelishHere is just one of myriad ways to utilize the lemon confit. Packed with flavor, this relish has the acidity of a vinaigrette, but boasts an amazing amount of textural interest from the fried capers. It is served on Sole Piccata and would also be great on seared tuna in place of the citrus and fennel salad; on Pan-Seared Salmon; or even with Lamb Loin Chops).


  • ¼ cup brined or salt-packed capers
  • 1½ cups canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced lemon confit, with 1 tablespoon of its oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon aged sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ¾ teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sweet Marsala
  • ¼ cup roughly torn flat-leaf parsley leaves
How to Make It
  1. If the capers are in brine, drain well and press gently between paper or cloth towels until totally dry. If the capers are salt packed, soak in warm water for about 10 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon, allowing the salt crystals to fall to the bottom. Put the capers in a bowl of fresh water and let soak for 5 minutes more. Drain well and press gently between paper or cloth towels until totally dry. (I prefer salt-packed capers, which tend to be more mature, have a better flavor, and open up like flowers when fried.
  2. Pour the canola oil into a 2-quart saucepan and heat to 350°F over high heat. Drop in the capers and cook for about 2 minutes, or until they open up into little flowers and begin to look crunchy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel. Let cool completely.
  3. Put the lemon confit and confit oil, lemon juice, and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until it, too, is translucent,
  5. about 1 minute. Stir in the chile flakes and Marsala and turn off the heat.
  6. Add the shallot mixture to the bowl with the lemon confit and stir to mix. Add the parsley and fried capers and stir briefly to combine. Serve immediately.

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