- Dish type
- Green salad
Vibrant nasturtium flowers are a colourful peppery addition to a simple green summer salad.
1 person made this
- 1 head green salad
- 60g lamb's lettuce
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- sunflower seeds
- young nasturtium leaves and flowers
- 1 avocado, peeled and stone removed
MethodPrep:10min ›Ready in:10min
- Remove the outer leaves of the salad, cut out the core and pull the leaves apart. Sort through the lamb's lettuce and wash and dry both salads. Dry in the salad spinner.
- Add to bowl. Grate the carrot into the bowl.
- In a small bowl stir lemon juice, olive oil, salt, ppper and sunflower seeds. Add to the salad with the nasturtium leaves and mix gently.
- Dice avocado and gently mix with the salad. Garnish with nasturtium flowers and serve at once.
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Nasturtium Bread Roll Recipe
Nasturtium Bread Rolls are bright, vibrant and all-natural colouring. Create WOW factor food with this garden-inspired bread recipe. Nasturtiums are the plant that keeps on giving! Nasturtiums make a beautiful lush living ground cover and are so easy to grow! Once you have them in your garden they will pop up every year without any effort on your behalf. They have so many uses and integrated relationships within your garden which makes them one of my favourite permaculture plants. You can read more about growing Nasturtium and uses here.
I love trying to get the most out of the things I have growing in my Urban Permaculture garden and that means lots of kitchen experiments! These Nasturtium bread rolls do have a nasturtium flavour once cooked but once I added ingredients for a burger it was not very noticeable. Just beautiful lush green tasty burgers!
This recipe would be great for a garden party, high tea, or just for something fun and interesting! I am a big believer in making everyday special. Make your own magic!
Nasturtiums, the Edible Flowers
I still remember the first time I learned that you can eat Nasturtium flowers. It was many years ago, while my mother-in-law, Marlene, was visiting us for the Summer from Arizona.
Marlene mentioned that nasturtium flowers were edible and that a good way to consume them was in salads. I tasted them at the time but wasn't crazy about their peppery taste. I decided to enjoy their beauty instead.
Since then, I've learned that not only are the flowers edible, but practically the entire plant. This includes the leaves and seed pods. This is my first nasturtium recipe but I hope to create more recipes in the future!
How to Grow Nasturtium Flowers from Seed
Before you plant nasturtium seeds, you can help the seeds along by scarification— scratching the seeds a little before planting.
I ran this microplane zester lightly over my seeds, but you can also use sandpaper or a file.
It helps open up the tough outer shell so that water can reach the inside of the seed.
You can help them along even more by soaking the seeds briefly in water, but I definitely skipped that step because we get so much rain.
Next, place your seeds in well-draining soil, keep them watered, and voilà!— before you know it, little nasturtium leaves will be popping up!
Cooking with Edible Flowers: Recipes for Nasturtium Balsamic Chicken, Beans with Flower Confetti, and Violet Coconut Cake
Edible flowers are used in recipes and as garnishes at many restaurants these days, but have you tried them in your own garden and kitchen? There are so many edible flowers to choose from, and you may already grow many of them in your ornamental or vegetable beds. There may even be some growing wild on your property as there are in mine.
A couple of key safety rules to remember when growing and using your own edible flowers is that you must not put any chemicals on them. That means no chemical fertilizers, and no insecticides. Also don&rsquot use flowers grown close to the road as car exhaust can be taken up in them while growing.
Edible Flowers and Where to Find Them
Here are all the edible flowers that I use in cooking for my family and friends. I&rsquove divided them out by where you are likely to find them in your gardens and on your property. Go to Bouquet Banquet&rsquos Listing for details on each type of edible flower, including its Latin name (important for safe identification), information on taste, and suggested uses in the kitchen.
From your vegetable garden, use the flowers of:
- Runner beans
- Sweet potato
From your herb bed, use the flowers of:
- Anise hyssop
- Bee balm
- Mints (each type has a different taste)
- Basils (each type has a different taste)
- Lemon balm
From your ornamental flower beds, use the flowers of:
- Tuberous begonias
From the wild, use the flowers of:
- Red clover
- Wild purslane
- Wood sorrel
- Wild strawberry
- Wild violets
From your trees, shrubs, and vines, use the flowers of:
- Wild rose
- Japanese honeysuckle
- Crab apple
- Red bud
Ways to Cook With Edible Flowers
Edible flowers are flavorful, they are textured, and they are colorful. There are flowers that taste of cloves, of cinnamon, of pepper, and anise. Bite into other flowers for the taste of beans, asparagus, and cucumbers, but not from the plants that give you those actual vegetables. You can find a large number of Edible Flower Recipes here to start your own kitchen experiments.
Edible flowers add taste, color, and texture to casseroles, sandwiches, frittatas, and salads. Mixed with vinegar, oil or butter they make lovely glazes or toppings for meats. Daylily, gladiola, and tulip flowers can be used as individual serving dishes while adding flavor and crunch to whatever you put in them. Edible flowers are used to create better appetizers, meat dishes, side dishes, and desserts. They liven up your oil and vinegar infusions, and make lovely flavored sugars and salts.
To get you started, here are some new recipes to try right now. Edible flower availability changes with the seasons. Seek to grow a wide variety of edible flowers and you&rsquoll be cooking with them spring through early winter.
Chicken with Nasturtium Balsamic Glaze Photo by Sheryl Campbell
Nasturtium Balsamic Chicken
I love to make my own flavored balsamic vinegar using edible flowers or the juice from fruits grown on my farm. Go beyond garnish to make this delectable chicken dish using both nasturtium petals and nasturtium vinegar in the marinade.
- 8 chicken thighs, skin on
- 2 T. butter
- ½ cup Rosemary Nasturtium White Balsamic Vinegar (see below)
- 3 T. dark honey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup nasturtium petals, separated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup whole nasturtium flowers
Rosemary Nasturtium White Balsamic Vinegar
Fill a jar with nasturtium flowers, lightly, and then fill with white balsamic vinegar. Seal the jar tightly and shake vigorously every couple of days for 2-4 weeks. Store in a cool cupboard away from light. When the vinegar has reached the strength you desire, strain out flower petals and pour into a vinegar cruet. Stored away from light this will last for months.
Directions for Chicken
1. Whisk together vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir in nasturtium petals.
2. Rinse chicken thighs and pat dry.
3. Place chicken in a baking dish and pour marinade over top. Let sit for 1 hour at room temperature. Remove chicken from dish.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
5. Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium high heat.
6. Sear chicken for 2 minutes per side.
7. Brush marinade over chicken and bake in oven for 20-30 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
8. Garnish with whole nasturtium flowers and serve.
Fresh Beans with Flower Confetti Photo by Sheryl Campbell
Mixed Garden Beans with Flower Confetti
Green (or yellow or purple) beans by themselves, or even with butter, become old over the summer. Here&rsquos a way to liven them up with a myriad of flavors from edible flowers.
- 3 cups fresh green beans
- 2 cups fresh yellow beans
- 1 T. butter
- 1/4 cup each calendula petals, nasturtium petals, runner bean flowers, and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup herb flowers (your choice of mixture)
1. Fill a large pot with water and heat to boiling.
2. Cook the beans for 4 minutes until color brightens.
3. Stir in butter. Cool slightly.
4. Mix in flower confetti with the beans and serve immediately.
Violet Coconut Layer Cake Photo by Sheryl Campbell
Violet Coconut Cake
Coconut cake is one of my favorite desserts. Over the years I&rsquove combined recipe ideas from my grandmother, one of my cousins, and my best friend. Wanting to take this amazing dessert even higher, I recently added violets to it &ndash but not just as a garnish! Read on.
Ingredients and Directions for the Cake
- Cream together ½ canola oil, ½ cup unsalted butter, 2 cups sugar, and ½ cup violet petals
- Add 3 egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until fluffy
- Gently beat in 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Sift together 2 ½ cups cake flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, ½ tsp. baking soda, ½ tsp. salt
- Mix ½ cup coconut milk with ½ cup buttermilk
- Alternately add dry ingredients and milks to the butter mixture
- Stir in 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- Beat 3 egg whites until stiff and gently fold in to the batter
- Grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until an inserted pick comes out clean
- Cool 15 minutes in pans and then on rack until completely cool
Ingredients and Directions for the Frosting
- Cream together 16 oz. of cream cheese and 2 sticks unsalted butter, both softened
- Gently beat in 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 pound sifted powdered sugar
- Stir in ¾ cups sweetened flaked coconut
Building the Cake
- Place one cake layer on a pretty cake plate
- Top with some of the frosting
- Add the second cake layer
- Frost the top of the cake
- Now frost the sides of the cake, creating a textured pattern
- Top with candied violets (see below), putting a few of the violets around the sides of the cake as well
How to Make the Candied Violets
- Beat one egg white until very frothy
- Put 3 T. confectioners sugar in a sifter
- Line a baking sheet with paper towels
- Harvest 25 violets leaving some of the stem intact
- Dip each violet into the egg white and shake off excess
- Place each violet right side up on lined baking sheet
- Sift powdered sugar over violets, turn them face down with stems upright
- Sift more powdered sugar over them
- Put the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours until the sugar glaze is dry
- Remove from the refrigerator and let site out at warm room temperature for another 24 hours
- Snip off the stems and use immediately or store in an airtight container for 1-2 months
Sheryl Campbell is an heirloom gardener, shepherd, and edible flower educator who owns Bouquet Banquet in Virginia&rsquos Shenandoah Valley. Read Sheryl&rsquos previous blogging with Mother Earth Gardener and Grit and read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts.
Toasted Farro Salad with Nasturtium Flowers
Farro is an ancient whole-grain, I mean really ancient and it is cultivated in the fields of Italy and elsewhere in the Mediterranean. With the revival of interest in whole grains, farro&rsquos popularity is gaining popularity in America as well and it is also being grown in Eastern Washington by Bluebird Grain Farms.
Farro has a little bit of a nutty flavor and is cooked about like you would cook steel-cut oats. You can buy it in most major grocery stores where the rice and dry beans are located. It is a versatile whole-grain and I have added it to my minestrone soup in place of pasta and also cooked it as a morning breakfast cereal. I like the nutty taste of it and it can be cooked where it has a little crunch to it or, if cooked longer is softer. It is full of nutrition and just one-half cup of cooked faro has seven grams of protein with zero fat.
In the produce section of my very favorite market there is a kiosk that serves daily samples of whatever the store highlights for the day. Most of the time it will be a fruit or a vegetable that has just come into season or a new item that the market started carrying. A couple of weeks ago the featured item was farro from the Bluebird Grain Farms and samples were being served of this nice Farro salad which was paired with grilled salmon. It was really good, I liked the nutty toasted flavor of the grain which also had a nice chewy-ness to it.
This salad was inspired by that taste-sampling and I have added nasturtiums from my garden as a garnishment as they have just started blooming and their bright jewel-like blossoms are so beautiful. I planted these nasturtiums in the spring and have been looking forward to using them in my recipes as they are an edible flower as well as a beautiful garnishment. It is not just the flower that is edible but also the green leaves and the stems. The leaves have a spicy flavor to them and there is a little spice and crunch to the stems. The blooms themselves have a nice slightly sweet flavor. I used them as a garnish in this salad but we ate them and they were interestingly delicious.
The salad plus some grilled salmon, shrimp or chicken makes a wonderful summertime dinner all by itself. Although a nice glass of my favorite white wine, Sauvignon Blanc would be just lovely.
Nasturtium, Green Bean and Potato Salad
Perk up Thanksgiving's token green bean dish by adding edible flowers. Nasturtiums have a tangy flavor and come in a range of colors.
Make Ahead: The green beans and potatoes can be cooked in advance, covered and stored separately in the refrigerator. The vinaigrette also be made a few days in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature and combine with the nasturtiums just before serving.
Servings: 6 - 8
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Have a rimmed baking sheet at hand.
Toss the potatoes with a teaspoon of the oil arrange on the baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender. Sprinkle with the salt.
Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan three-quarters full with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans once the water returns to a boil, cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain into a colander in the sink, then immediately rinse the beans with cold water until they are cool.
Whisk together the vinegar and the mustard in a measuring cup, then whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of oil in a slow, steady stream to form an emulsified vinaigrette.
Toss together the cooled green beans and potatoes, dill, capers and the vinaigrette in a serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped nasturtiums and toss to combine. Garnish with the whole blossoms.
Nutritional Benefits of the Edible Nasturtium Flower
Besides being a beautiful pop of color in the garden, nasturtium flowers contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals. Studies have shown that edible nasturtiums are a good source of potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium as well as zinc, copper, and iron.
The leaves are said to be a natural antibiotic and high in vitamin C, making them a great way to boost your immune system. Nasturtium flowers also contain vitamin C, along with vitamin B1, B2, B3, and beta-carotene.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil prepare an ice-water bath and set aside. Add nasturtium leaves to boiling water cook for 10 seconds. Drain and transfer to ice-water bath until cool. Drain and set aside.
- Place leaves, pine nuts, garlic, and oil in the jar of a blender blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and fold in stems and cheese.
This one-of-a-kind risotto, from chef David Kinch of Manresa, uses all parts of the nasturtium plant, and it tastes as wonderful as it looks.
SOURCE: THE MARTHA STEWART SHOW, MAY 2010
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 leek, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced, white and light-green parts only
- 1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- Coarse salt
- 3 cups Nasturtium Bouillon, heated
- 3/4 cup Nasturtium Butter
- 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese , for garnish
- Fresh chervil sprigs, for garnish
- Nasturtium flowers, petals, or buds, for garnish
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until grains are opaque, start to sizzle, and stick together, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring, until liquid is completely absorbed, about 30 seconds. Season with salt.
- Reduce heat to low and add enough bouillon to cover rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup bouillon and continue cooking and stirring, until liquid has been absorbed. Continue cooking and adding bouillon, 1/2 cup at a time, until rice is al dente, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in butter and remove from heat. Fold in cheese and season with salt. Serve garnished with nasturtium pesto, chervil, and flowers.
Stuffed Nasturtium Flowers
- 12nasturtium petals (whole flowers)
- 1(8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1garlic clove, minced fine
- 1 ⁄2tablespoon fresh chives (you may use chive blossoms, chopped)
- 1tablespoon chopped fresh lemon verbena (or lemon balm, lemon thyme, lemon basil, lemon catnip, or lemon zest)
- salt and pepper (optional)
- Make sure flowers are clean and dry. Pick as close to serving time as possible, but definitely the same day. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Mix cream cheese thoroughly with herbs. Season to taste. Place 1 or 2 teaspoons of mixture (depending on size of flower) in center of flower. Pull petals upwards to cover the cheese as much as possible. Press lightly into cheese to stick. This makes 4 servings, 4 stuffed flowers per person.
Nasturtium Fingerprint Cookies (makes about 40 small cookies)
FOR THE FILLING:
10 nasturtium flowers
½ cup apricot preserves
Rinse nasturtiums well and inspect closely for bugs, rinsing again if needed. Remove petals discard stems and leaves (they are edible but not so pleasant for baking, in my opinion). Dry petals well, then slice them into small pieces. Gently mix the minced petals into the apricot preserves. Set aside. (I left mine in the fridge overnight and was amazed by its remarkable flavor the next day the taste of apricots came alive with tropical, citrusy hints.)
FOR THE DOUGH:
1 cup butter at room temperature
Scant 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
5 nasturtium flowers
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mix butter and granulated sugar until creamy and even, then sift the flour, white pepper, and salt (if using) over the mixture. Mix dough by hand until it sticks together.
Wash, mince and dry 5 nasturtiums, then add to dough and mix until evenly distributed. While still at room temperature, roll dough into balls about 1 scant tablespoon each, and place on cookie sheets at least 1.25 inch apart. Pressindex finger about 3/4 of the way into each ball.
Put the apricot-flower preserves in a pastry bag or plastic bag with a small piece of the corner cut off, and fill the fingerprints until filling just domes over the surface of the cookie. Preheat oven to 325˚ F. While oven heats, chill the filled cookies for 10 minutes in the freezer or 30 minutes in the fridge. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges and bottoms are golden brown. Let cool to room temperature on cookie sheets.
FOR THE ICING (OPTIONAL):
½ cup powdered sugar
2+ teaspoons orange or lemon juice
Place powdered sugar in a bowl and gradually whisk in the citrus juice. If too thick for drizzling, add just a few more drops of juice, being careful not to make it too thin. Lightly drizzle across the cooled cookies, and let it sit for at least 15 minutes or until icing is firm and dry to the touch.
Mixed Greens Salad with Grilled Chicken, Nasturtium Flowers and Ginger Soy Dressing
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Process until smooth.
- Mixed greens
- Red Pepper
- Grape tomatoes
- Crumbled blue cheese
- Grilled Chicken
You will need approximately 1 cup of closely packed nasturtium flowers. It is always best to pick flowers at herbs in the morning after the dew has dried off their leaves and petals but before the sun is high in the sky (noon) when the plants are too dry.
2 cups/500ml of apple cider vinegar.
The only equipment you need here is a jar large enough to hold all your ingredients. Please sterilize it first, see instructions on my sterilizing resources page, and some small sterilized bottles to store the resulting hot sauce in.
Remove any dust and particles from the flowers and carefully pat dry.
Pack the flowers into your jar .
Peel and chop the clove of garlic and add this to the jar.
Split the little chilli and add this to the jar.
Now pour in the apple cider vinegar.
Pop the lid on the jar and give it a good shake.
Store in a cool dark cupboard for 1 week remembering to shake it every day.
After a week the flowers will have colored the vinegar the most gorgeously vibrant color. It will depend on the color of the flowers what color of vinegar you get, yellow flowers give a golden hue while the deep red beauties will create a really rich almost burgundy color.
Strain your vinegar through a sieve lined with kitchen paper or muslin and decant into smaller bottles.
Quick and easy
Like all the soups I make this is quick and easy to rustle up and looks so pretty it’ll make you smile before you even taste it. It is perfect for a supper party jazzed up with a few flowers around the bowls (or glasses if you want to serve it chilled) and some petals and leaves finely chopped and scattered on top as a garnish.
Although pale and delicate in colour this is a punchy little number with quite a kick to it, so taste it as you go along and adjust seasoning as necessary.
This recipe is for 2 servings so just expand it to fit the numbers you need it for. I’ve used cos lettuce (also known as Romaine) which has a good flavour, you could also use iceberg lettuce if you prefer but stay away from the darker stronger flavoured varieties and let those nasturtiums sing!
Looking for more light and delicious summer soup recipes? Then check these out before you go
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest and sign up for my newsletter too of course.