Capers are a traditional inclusion in many recipes from around the Mediterranean, including chicken piccata and the incomparable spaghetti puttanesca. But the humble unripened flower bud of the caper bush, preserved in salt, vinegar or brine, is one of the kitchen’s most versatile flavour bombs, adding a hit of herbaceous, olive-like richness to dishes of almost any cuisine.
Dotted with fried capers, drizzled with a caper-spiked salsa verde and served alongside a wintery coleslaw of cabbage, pear, caperberries, Dijon mustard and sherry vinegar, this bistro-ready schnitzel recipe is bursting with colour, flavour and freshness.
Not only do the crispy capers give a hit of flavour and texture, frying them flavours the oil that’s then used to cook the schnitzel, tying all the flavours on the plate together with beautiful hints of caper.
While this recipe calls for veal, substituting quality pork scotch fillets or butterflied chicken breasts will work just as well.
Explore our entire caper range, including tiny capers in salt and in vinegar, lilliput capers in salt and vinegar, caperberries, caper leaves and more at your nearest The Essential Ingredient store, or buy online for delivery to anywhere in Australia.
Pour the vegetable or rice bran oil into a small saucepan and heat until it reaches 180C. Add the capers (once they’ve been rinsed and dried on some paper towel) and cook until crisp (around 30 seconds). Remove the capers from the oil and transfer to a plate covered in a few sheets of paper towel.
Carefully transfer the oil to a large non-sick frying pan.
Pound the slices of veal with a meat mallet (or rolling pin) until around 5mm thick.
Set up three shallow bowls or high-rimmed plates. In the first, combine the flour, salt, pepper and paprika.
Crack the eggs into the second bowl and beat lightly.
Combine the two types of breadcrumbs and the parmesan into the third bowl.
Take a piece of meat and lay it into the flour mix. Flip it and repeat until the fillet is completely covered with flour. Gently shake any excess back into the bowl.
Move the floured meat into the beaten egg, ensuring it is covered, then into the breadcrumbs. Press the meat into the crumbs to ensure it is well covered, tap off any excess, then place the breaded fillet on a plate and repeat with the remaining pieces of meat.
Leave meat to sit for at least ten minutes to help the crust adhere to the meat.
Heat the pan until the oil is shimmering, then gently lay a piece of meat in it, cooking until it becomes golden brown (around three minutes). Flip and cook for a further three minutes. Remove from pan and repeat with remaining schnitzels.
Dress the meat with a sprinkling of salt, some freshly ground black pepper, a pinch of Aleppo pepper flakes and a few fried capers. Serve with pear and caperberry coleslaw, salsa verde and half a lemon, fried on a non-stick frying pan cut side-down until blackened.
TO MAKE THE SALSA VERDE
Combine all the ingredients except the Aleppo pepper flakes in a blender or food processor until the make a vibrantly green sauce. Taste, and add additional seasoning, mustard or vinegar as needed.
Add the Aleppo pepper and pulse the mixer quickly to combine. Transfer to a small jug or serving bowl.
TO MAKE THE COLESLAW
Whisk together the olive oil, sherry vinegar, mustard and salt in a small bowl, or shake together in a small jar. Cut the cheeks from the pear and slice thinly (using a not-quite-ripe pear reduces overall sweetness and adds extra crunch). Halve the caperberries and toss with cabbage, pear slices, parsley and dressing.