Friday, 6 September 2013

Nasturtium Capers

There are five reasons I can think of to grow nasturtiums.

One: They look beautiful
Nasturtiums come in all shades of yellow, orange and red
Two: They provide ground cover
Parasol leaves provide excellent ground cover,
shading out all the weeds
Three: They attract blackfly and caterpillars away from more important food crops

Can you spot the caterpillar in this picture?
Four: You can eat the flowers and leaves in salads. Very peppery

Flowers and leaves a peppery salad addition

Five: You can make your own capers.

The seed pods can be pickled to make
nasturtium capers

The last of these is exactly what Sue has been trying her hand at this week. For nasturtiums produce fulsome seed pods in profusion. It didn't take long to gather the 100g needed for the recipe, collected whilst still plump and green.
These were then soaked in brine for 24 hours, dried off and packed into sterilised jars.
Nasturtium seeds being dried after a soaking in brine

She then covered them, one in cider vinegar, one in tarragon vinegar. A couple of bay leaves, lids on and wait a couple of weeks before using.
I've got my eyes on a recipe for lamb chump with a parsley and caper sauce. I'll let you know how it goes.
And if anyone can think of any more reasons for growing nasturtiums, please do leave a comment!

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