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Giant nasturtium plant

IndyGirl Aug 5, 2008 01:30 AM

I need ideas. :) I know they are used in salads and to top things like cakes. But this plant is HUGE. There are probably at least twenty flowers on it and hundreds and hundreds of leaves.

I'd like some nuanced ideas about what flavors of greens/dressings/cheeses/fruits work best in a salad that contains nasturtium leaves and flowers.

And I'd also like to know what other ideas for nasturtium I'm missing...thanks in advance! I hope some of you have some inspired ideas for me.

  1. h
    Hungry Celeste Aug 8, 2008 10:40 AM

    Be sure to taste a few leaves raw, as I've found that my nasturtiums vary in "heat". Some varieties are quite peppery, others more mild.
    --HC, www.bouillie.wordpress.com

    1. Peg Aug 7, 2008 11:39 AM

      The leaves make yummy sandwiches using thin white bread and salted butter.

      1. s
        SSqwerty Aug 7, 2008 09:59 AM

        IMHO, nasturtiums have a mild radish flavor, so use them wherever radishes would be welcome. Looks like I'll be trying the leaves this year since my HUGE plant isn't developing flowers!

        1 Reply
        1. re: SSqwerty
          sarah galvin Aug 8, 2008 10:44 AM

          I have been told that the black ones are peppery flavoured. Is this true?

        2. jayt90 Aug 6, 2008 06:08 AM

          The blossoms can be deep fried, lightly and quickly, as with squash or zucchini flowers:
          prepare an ice cold tempura batter, dip and fry in a wok with 2-3"flavorless canola. Stuffing is optional, as that will affect the shape and beauty of the blossom.

          1. t
            tmso Aug 6, 2008 01:25 AM

            Stuff 'em and pan-fry them. They like goat cheese, ricotta-based fillings, and risotto.

            1. todao Aug 5, 2008 11:31 PM

              Don't know what variety of Nasturtium you're working with (I'm best acquainted with Nasturtium officinale - commonly called Watercress) but here's a recipe that you're sure to enjoy.

              http://www.cookingwiththebible.com/re...

              1. Junie D Aug 5, 2008 10:13 AM

                You can turn the seeds (or flower buds - there seems to be some controversy about this, but after all both caper buds and seed pods are pickled) into caper-like pickles. Please report back if you try it.

                http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/...

                6 Replies
                1. re: Junie D
                  Glencora Aug 7, 2008 10:01 AM

                  I tried that once. Ending up tossing them.

                  1. re: Glencora
                    Junie D Aug 7, 2008 03:43 PM

                    Because of the flavor?

                    1. re: Junie D
                      Glencora Aug 7, 2008 05:23 PM

                      Yes, it just didn't taste very good. Not really like a caper. It's too bad, too, because I have lots of nasturtiums and I love capers.

                      (I just remembered: aren't you the person who bought a caper plant a year or so ago? I've been meaning to get one, though Berkeley may be too cool for it...)

                      1. re: Glencora
                        Junie D Aug 8, 2008 09:07 AM

                        That is too bad. Did you use buds or seeds?

                        Yes, I've had the caper plant two years. Took ages to find it, and I killed the first one. It is in a pot, which is probably not the best. It loses leaves in winter, looks quite dead in March, but has grown quite a bit this summer. BUT I have never made capers because the flowers are so beautiful that I don't want to pick the buds. They are stunning. Finally this year I have one or two seed pods (caper berries).

                        My guess is they would do fine in Berkeley. I bought one from Rose at Morningsun Herb Farm http://www.morningsunherbfarm.com/ssp... and the other from Van Winden Nursery in Napa (Van Winden had to special order and it took months to get, and they told me "capers won't grow here").

                        I recently saw a photo of caper plants growing wild out of a long wall in Rome. I need enough growing wild that I don't mind picking a few buds!

                        1. re: Junie D
                          j
                          jenn Aug 8, 2008 02:45 PM

                          yargh. I would LOVE a caper plant but can't seem to find them anywhere. Got all excited by your post but i can't find caper plants anywhere on the website.

                          As for nasturtium, I always find the red flowers or the orange ones to be spicy than the yellow ones.

                          1. re: jenn
                            Junie D Aug 8, 2008 04:34 PM

                            I would call Rose. If she doesn't have one, she'll know where to get one.

                2. scarmoza Aug 5, 2008 09:32 AM

                  I like them stuffed with goat cheese or cream cheese. I like to keep it on the simple side in order to taste more of the flower. There are many recipes out there for stuffed naturtium blossoms though.

                  1. HillJ Aug 5, 2008 08:59 AM

                    A friend use to cut giant blossoms with different shaped cutters and add them to cocktails. Add to an ice cube tray is a nice decoration for light colored drinks too.

                    I've enjoyed the flowers atop cold rice salad.

                    1. t
                      The Old Gal Aug 5, 2008 08:53 AM

                      I have seen the leaves used as edible "plates" for appetizers. Leaf, creamy flavorful cheese topped with a shrimp. I am sure you can come up with more combinations. Also the leaves layered with lettuce can spark up a sandwich.

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