Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Nasturtiums

I'm always one to try out new foods (this is a polite way to say 'greedy') I've eaten a range of flowers including nasturtiums. They look pretty in salads but they do remind me of eating peppery polyester sheeting (or what it might be like to eat it. I haven't actually tried it!)

Anyway, earlier on this spring, I'd seen some interesting ideas for nasturtiums in a favourite book, Domestic Goddess on a Budget by Wendyl Nissen, & had promised myself to try them out.


First up was Nasturtium Pesto, I didn't have the right amounts of ingredients that Wendyl suggested.  I winged it.  Into the blender went about 2 handfuls of roughly chopped nasturtium leaves, about half a handful of walnuts, a big clove of squashed garlic, 1 red chilli finely chopped (Thank you to Mr Pebble for the trading, 12 of our Victorian Cambridge White bricks for a chilli plant) & about half a cup of oil (I mixed olive & sunflower).  I whizzed it up, it looked green, very green.

I tasted it & promptly re-named it 'Flamin' Nasturtium Pesto'.  I added about a cup of parsley, my tongue calmed down.  The pesto was lurid green, peppery, earthy, watercressy, leafy & had real attitude!
Emma from silverpebble came round, she thought it looked green too.

We ate it with spaghetti & lots of fancy local cheese.  It was spicy, it was good.

I'm going to put it in the freezer in tiny pots so that I can get it out in the depths of winter & be reminded of summer.

... and still the nasturtiums kept growing.


So I collected the fallen seeds because the next recipe was for pickled nasturtium seeds.  I have heard them likened to capers & we like capers a lot so I followed Wendyl's instructions as best I could...

Instruction Number One
leave ripe seeds outside in the sun to dry for 2 days (this could be tricky...) I put them on the windowsill to soak up the grey clouds & reflected light from raindrops

Instruction Number Two
dust with a little salt- I did that but worried that Wendyl and I might have different ideas of 'little'?

Instruction Number Three  put in a sterilised jar & cover with hot vinegar, cool then seal.  (I managed that bit!)

I called Mr TH in to admire my handiwork.  We contemplated them as they floated around the jar, suspended in vinegar...

There was a pause, Mr TH cleared his throat,

'erm, they look a bit like mini brains don't they?' he said nervously.

We both turned to look at them again,

Mr TH looked at me, I looked at Mr TH...

There was an air of unspoken horror as we contemplated his statement.


I hid them in the cupboard.



I'll report back when we're brave enough to try them, probably sometime in the new year. We might have forgotten by then.

17 comments:

Nimblefingerssteadyeyebrows said...

They do look a bit mad scientist's lair, don't they! I put nasturtium flowers in salads, but I hadn't thought of eating leaves or seeds. Welcome to the world of blogging:) Laura x

Sue said...

But then so do walnuts and they are delicious! Eat the brains I say.

Do I spy a jar of quince jelly on your shelves?

Bella Bheag said...

Hello! Welcome to Blogland. Like many others I am visiting via "Silverpebble". Looks like you've taken to the old blogging lark like the proverbial duck....!

Interesting posts; picked up a following so soon AND opened an Etsy Shop - now that's impressive! I've had an Etsy Shop (in name only) since 2009 and have yet to stock it! Can't get my head around it somehow.

Good luck with your shop and your blog. My philosophy is to blog when the notion takes me. Stocking the shop is another matter and I need to have a serious word with myself about that!

All the best - Bella B!

Thrifty Household said...

Oh Sue, first prize in the Quince Jelly Spotting Category!
It is my treasured last jar from 2010. My 'secret quince sources' are much diminished this year so I'm going to have to make choices as to what to make- Quince jelly will remain on the list come what may! What's your favourite quince creation?

Annie said...

Hello, and how nice to meet you. Even if I will never think of nasturtium seeds in quite the same way again ;)

Good luck with your Etsy shop - such beautiful quilts - and your blog. It's a lovely place, this crafty, thrifty, blogosphere of ours, peopled by friendly, funny, creative, inventive, supportive bloggers. Welcome :D

driftwood said...

welcome to blog land and good luck with your etsy shop, your quilts are lovely.
love the oh so green pesto, if only my family liked even basil pesto I might try it. oh, I think the slugs ate the nasturtiums...

Penny said...

Here in Oz we are coming into Spring, your nasturtium pesto has given me a lovely idea, thank you and welcome to blogging. Your life may never be the same!

Tania said...

Cripes. We're up to the eyeballs in nasturtiums here. I was pondering the acquisition of seven more rabbits.

PS. Nothing - and I repeat - nothing, is more disturbing than a homemade pickled walnut. They make mini nasturtium brains look like food of the Gods.

Magic Cochin said...

!!! I haven't grown any Nasturtiums this year! All part of my "not buying any more packets of seeds this year pledge". Next year.... :-)

I like the sound of that pesto... bet it would be scrummy on gnocchi.

Mouse brains... eek!

Celia

marigold jam said...

I've been adding nasturtium flowers to my salads all summer long (checking first for any creepy crawlies!) and had heard about pickling the seeds to use as caper substitutes but didn't know how so thank for the recipe - ours have gone mad this year and its a shame to waste anything edible isn't it? I dare say wehn served with something else the brain like appearance will not be so niticeable and as Sue said walnuts look even more like brains and nobody cares so go ahead I'm sure they will taste just fine!!

silverpebble said...

I can confirm that it was green and spicy - and good. You've not been selling these seeds to me but I'm determined to nosh one next time I'm round now.

Toffeeapple said...

I was eating Nasturtium flowers on Sunday, sitting in the garden at my local museum. The trick is to bite off the pointy bit first since that is where the nectar is. The little brains will be very tasty, don't be afraid of them.

Penny said...

Welcome to Bloggerdom! You've made a great start, green stuff and mini brains, I'll be back for more!
Penny

Scented Sweetpeas said...

Hello, popping over from Silverpebble :-) I love Nasturtium plants, they are a fantastic companion plant and look so pretty. oohh those little pickled brains look interesting, I may have to try and make some myself to see what they taste like.

Sue said...

Favourite thing to do with quinces? -grate them into a big jar of vodka with some sugar and wait until Christmas. Delicious.

Thrifty Household said...

Ooohhh, that's going on my Quince list! Thank you! (I do rhubarb vodka but hadn't thought of quince vodka for some unknown reason...)

The Coffee Lady said...

I have loads of nasturtiums in my garden, but I'm still a bit wary. Also, there is the small matter of the next door neighbour's cats, and the things they think our garden is for...

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