Friday, June 13, 2014

Nasturtiums-Growing Them and Eating Them

Growing Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are one of the easiest edible flowers to grow either in pots or in the ground. They are colorful and grow in a variety of soils. They seem to like the dry clay in my yard.  You can directly sow them in the ground or soak them in warm water overnight to help them germinate. You might do an experiment and plant the seeds both ways to see which germinate faster. Nasturtiums like to dry out between waterings. Nasturtiums attract hummingbirds.

Saving Nasturtium Seeds

You can easily save the nasturtium seeds for next year. When the plant is finished blooming, collect the seeds, dry them and place in a paper bag. Plant them next season.  You can also leave them in the ground and cover them with a bit of soil and see what happens. This is how I let mine "self-seed".

Cooking with Nasturtiums

You can tear the petals and add them to a salad or use the whole flower as garnish. In addition you can make pesto from nasturtiums. The recipe follows here:

Nasturtium Pesto

2 c. nasturtium leaves and a handful of nasturtium flowers
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 c. walnuts
juice of 1/2 large lemon
3/4 c. olive oil
salt and pepper

Put everything but the salt and pepper into a food processor and mix until smooth.  Add a little salt and pepper at the end if you wish. Then eat!

Note: you might want to try this with pine nuts as well.

Serve the pesto with pasta, on a slice of baguette or on a carrot!