Chloe is well known at our favorite local restaurant for a bunch of reasons. One is that she is probably the only four year-old who orders their signature salad of lettuce, asparagus, mango, shrimp, calamari and capers. This may seem like an unusual combo, especially for a kid, but it’s a pretty spectacular dish. Chloe’s favorite part, hands down, are the capers and Ed, the chef, couldn’t possibly cover her salad with enough of those little, salty tasting orbs to satisfy her craving.
“MORE CAPERS!” Chloe always chirps happily after picking her plate clean of them. The restaurant is small — 7 or 8 tables total — and the other patrons often look over at us with a quizzical expression on their faces that says, “did that little kid just ask for more capers?” Our waiter, who by now is hip to Chloe’s routine, has preemptively started bringing her an little bowl of extra capers on the side which she always devours with relish.
Capers may seem like an unusual food for kids, but they’re incredibly tasty, especially when added to certain dishes for flavor. As capers are one of Chloe’s favorite foods, I’ve been coming up with new dishes in which to use them. For years I’ve been making hubby and myself a version of this healthy, caper-speckled tomato compote to serve over fish and chicken. It’s thick, zesty, rich and flavorful and I finally realized it’s also an equally appealing addition to a wide array of dishes for kids. It works great on vegetables, chicken, grilled fish or to toss with pasta or rice.
Or you can be just like my husband who eats it plain with a spoon — and has to move fast before Chloe picks out all the capers!
Tomato, Olive, Caper Compote
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 medium medium tomatoes, roughly chopped (or 1 28oz can diced tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup black olives, quartered
- 1 tablespoons capers
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.
- Add the tomatoes, olives, capers, and salt and cook over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Serve over grilled chicken, fish, pasta or rice.