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Mock capers

A real caper is the flower bud of a caper plant, Capparis spinosa, and its large seedpod is called a caper berry. They're yummy, but expensive. So we pickle either dandelion buds (well before they're opened) or nasturtium seedpods instead. Pick nasturtium seedpods when they're still green and soft and no bigger than your little fingernail. You'll find them attached to the stems underneath the foliage, where they develop in clusters of three.

Collect your buds or seedpods and store in the fridge in a covered container. I normally use a small spice jar. When your container is full, rinse the 'capers' and pack them back into the container with a bay leaf and a couple of sprigs of time. Mix a little sugar and salt into some white wine vinegar and boil to dissolve. Pour this over the capers and let cool. Cover the jar and refrigerate for 3 days before using. They'll keep for 6 months in the refrigerator if covered in the vinegar.