11/02/2011 04:50 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2012


KitchenDaily and Gail Simmons show you how to use foods you already have in your pantry to make easy, delicious recipes. In this video, Gail shows viewers how to work with capers, which are the buds of the caper bush, by incorporating them into three different recipes. After being extracted from the caper bush, capers are pickled in either vinegar, wine, brine or salt, and then canned. Gail prefers those packed in salt (she thinks they have more flavor and hold their shape a little better), but reminds viewers that when using this variety to rinse the capers well and soak them in cold water for a few minutes. Their tangy, lemony flavor can enhance fish, pasta and elegant appetizers.

If you want to impress guests with presentation-ready salmon pinwheels, follow Gail's easy steps. She first makes the spread that will fill each pinwheel, by mixing coarsely chopped capers, cream cheese, Greek-style yogurt, lemon juice and finely grated lemon zest. Gail then lays out a sheet of plastic wrap and forms a rectangle on top of it out of overlapping pieces of smoked salmon. She spreads the mixture evenly over the salmon, leaving a 1/2-inch border on one side. Using the plastic wrap as an aid, she rolls the salmon into a tight log, and places it in the freezer for 10 or so minutes to harden but not freeze. After removing the plastic wrap, she cuts pieces of smoked salmon pinwheels, cutting on the diagonal for an attractive presentation.

Roasted Cod with Burst Cherry Tomatoes, Olives and Capers
Penne with Fresh Ricotta, Capers, Lemon and Chili
Smoked Salmon Pinwheels with Capers and Lemon