Have you noticed those beautiful, sunset colored flowers on the CSA share table? They aren’t only there for their complete loveliness, they’re edible too! Adding Alaskan Mix Nasturtiums to your favorite salad or pasta dish is a great way to make a meal “kid friendly” or class up your next dinner soiree. Not only do the flowers offer a delectable peppery taste, the leaves do as well. In fact, the entire plant is edible from the flowers down to the seeds. One can even grind the seeds as a replacement to traditional black pepper. Nutritionally, nasturtiums (the flowers and leaves) contain Vitamin C and Iron. The name nasturtium comes from the Latin words for nose (nas), and tortum (twist), referring to a persons’ reaction upon tasting the spicy, bittersweet leaves! As the sprawling nasturtiums slowly take over the farm this spring, we will continue to have these flowers packed with a peppery punch for the remainder of the season.
Try these delicious nose-twisting recipes:
Stuffed Nasturtium Flowers
Mix 8 ounces softened cream cheese with 2 Tablespoons finely minced chives or other herbs of your choice. Stuff the mixture into nasturtium flowers and place on a tray that has been lined with nasturtium leaves. Serve at room temperature.
1 cup nasturtium leaves, flowers, and buds
1 pint champagne or white wine vinegar
Place the ingredients in a clean clear glass jar or bottle. Tightly seal. Let sit for at least 3 weeks before using. Place a new nasturtium in the finished bottle for decoration, but you should make sure the vinegar always covers the flowers or they will mold. Makes 1 pint vinegar to use in salads, sauces and flavoring in other dishes.
Nasturtium Lemon Butter
This lovely butter has a mild lemon/pepper flavor and a colorful appearance. It is wonderful on fish, chicken and vegetables. This is also great on those small party breads, pumpernickel especially.
1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
1-2 teaspoons grated lemon peel (according to taste)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons finely chopped nasturtium blossoms
Mix all of the ingredients well until smooth and well blended. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve. Makes 3/4 cup flavored butter.