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March 4, 2014

Capers and Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes

by Anne Paddock

Jeff’s Naturals, a California-based company specializing in jarred Mediterranean products free of preservatives, stabilizers, artificial colors, flavors and sulfites, offers two shelf-stable pantry products – Imported Non-Pareil Capers and Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes – that most cooks find very helpful to have on hand because both products can be used in so many recipes.

Capers are one of my favorite additions to potato salad because they have a slightly salty, briny flavor which complements red bliss potatoes perfectly. Jeff’s Naturals sources capers from Turkey and Morocco where they grow abundantly in the arid climate. Packed in a 6 ounce jar, the Non-Pareil (which refers to the size – up to 7 mm) Capers, are unripened flower buds popular in Mediterranean dishes, salads, and sauces. Use them in your favorite potato salad recipe, sauté them with a bit of olive oil and add to a white wine sauce, or blend with lemon zest, chopped sweet grape tomatoes and fresh chopped parsley for a delightful side dish.

Jeffs-Naturals-Capers-Gluten-Free-073214007509

Sun-ripened dried tomatoes experienced a surge in popularity in the 1980’s with the opening of The Silver Palate in New York City where Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins taught many a home cook to develop a passion for good food. Suddenly sun-dried tomatoes became the fashionable ingredient in salads, pastas, dips and spreads. Their popularity hasn’t diminished through the years making sun-ripened tomatoes a pantry staple in most households. Jeffs-Naturals-Sun-Ripened-Dried-Tomatoes-073214007547

Jeff’s Naturals Organic Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes are sulfite-free and locally grown in California where the tomatoes are picked when ripe. Darker than other brands (because no preservatives are used), Jeff’s Naturals 8-ounce jars of Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes are marinated in olive oil and spices to give the tomatoes a deep, rich flavor. Consider using on a pizza or pour a few tablespoons (Jeff’s Naturals can be used right from the jar along with the olive oil) into a food processor, chop and then toss with cooked pasta. Top with parsley and freshly shaved parmesan and dinner is ready.

Jeff’s Naturals Capers and Jeff’s Naturals Organic Sun-Ripened Dried Tomatoes can be purchased at www.vitacost.com. The capers sell for $3.79 per 6-ounce jar and the sun-dried tomatoes are $4.99 for an 8-ounce jar.

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