Not many people know that nasturtiums are edible. Actually mine grew like crazy all summer on the balcony without me realising that they were more than just decorative. They are very easy to grow and actually the whole plant is edible:
- the leaves have a strong peppery taste can be used to make wraps, in salads or in sandwiches
- the flowers are mild can be eaten as they are
- the seeds can be eaten either green and raw, or pickled as a substitute to capers
At the last Cityplot course made improvised snacks. They are super simple to make and look beautiful which also makes them great fresh finger food if you’re having guests over. Just take the nasturtium leaves, wash them and snip off the stem, turn the leaf upside down and fill with whatever takes your fancy (we filled them with fresh goats cheese, some honey, and herbs). Then roll the leaf like a wrap and tie it with a chive. The final touch is to tuck the flower into the chive as decoration. Enjoy!
Natural snack from the garden
As I move forward in the adventure of growing my own food, I’m realising that there is actually much more to eat in a plant than what I thought. Lately, I’ve cooked radish leaves, and also found out many flowers are edible. So I decided to investigate if it was possible to cook carrot tops, as I feel it was such a waste to be throwing out such fresh looking leaves from the carrots I grew with such effort.
Preparing carrot top pesto
So I looked online what I could make with carrot tops. The main suggestions were soup and pesto. Since it’s quite warm, I went for the pesto option. I’m not very good at following recipes, so I don’t have quantities but I guess you can adapt the recipe to your taste.
Ingredients: fresh carrot leaves, virgin olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and garlic (I also added a few basil leaves).
Thoroughly wash the leaves. Pick the tender leaves off the stem and put them in a mixer bowl (the amount of leaves really diminishes when you blend them, like when you cook spinach). Add one clove of garlic, a splash of olive oil, some pine nuts and a little grated Parmesan. Blend it all together until it is nice and smooth.
Carrot top pesto
I let it sit for one day in the fridge, then added it to wholewheat fusilli. The result was delicious! It tasted a little stronger than regular pesto. I’ll be making it again for sure.