Cooking With Nasturtium Flowers
You can use the leaves, flower buds and flowers of Nasturtiums. The flavour is similar to cress but less peppery.
Chop the leaves into salads, soft cheese, eggs and yoghurts but don't cook the leaves.
The flowers can be used as colourful edible decorations and garnish.
The unripe seeds can be used like capers and can be marinated in a salt
brine or vinegar.
How To Grow Nasturtium Plants
Nasturtium plants are annuals and have to be started from
seeds every spring. The seeds are quite large and can be sown right into
the ground or pots about 3/4 inches deep.
If you want your Nasturtium plants to flower early start them off
indoors in March or early April. Plant them out or into the ground or
bigger containers, hanging baskets and window boxes once there are no
more frosts at night.
Nasturtium plants don't do well inside. They are not suitable for an indoor herb garden
but are great in larger containers on patios and balconies, for
under-planting large container plants and edging of flower beds. Don't
hesitate to shorten the shoots if they get too long.
Plant Nasturtiums in a sunny place. The ground should have good
drainage but should not be too rich. Rich soil will encourage a lot of
leafy growth but few flowers.
Plants in pots should be fed moderately but watered regularly.
Nasturtiums will produce a lot of flowers until the first frost kills
them off. They leave a lot of seeds behind though and usually self seed
if the place suits them. You can also save some seeds and keep them for
the following year.
Green and black flies like Nasturtiums. They are often used to
attract these pests and keep them away from other cultivated plants.
Watering: water regularly
Feeding: every 2 weeks
Propagation: from seed
Cooking: add leaves after cooking
Preserving: unripe seeds like capers
Harvesting And Preserving
Harvest the young leaves and use them fresh. They are not suitable
for preserving. The flowers can be used for Nasturtium vinegar. The
unripe seed pods can be used as a substitute for capers and can be
marinated in a salt brine or vinegar.
Add the colourful flowers to your salad bowl. The have a very interesting flavour: flowery with a spicy hot aftertaste.
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