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updated: 1/11/2012 11:49 AM

Fried Caper Vinaigrette

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⅔ cup olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon salt-cured capers, rinsed and chopped

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

1 teaspoon grated garlic (about 2 cloves)

⅓ cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard

Pinch sea salt and ground black pepper

In a medium saute pan over medium, heat cup of the oil. Add the capers, shallots and garlic, then cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 4 minutes, or until just starting to brown but the oil is still clear. Transfer to a medium bowl, including all of the cooking oil, and set aside to cool.

Once the mixture has cooled, add the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. While whisking, drizzle in the remaining oil. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if necessary, and use immediately or refrigerate in a tightly sealed container for up to 2 days.

Makes 1 cup.

Cook's note: Don't feel like frying the capers, shallots and garlic? Give them a rough chop, then add them raw to the vinaigrette. Salt-cured capers should always be rinsed with cold water, then dried with paper towels before used.

Elizabeth Karmel for The Associated Press

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