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.