You might already know that nasturtiums are edible (and if not, welcome to the club!), but did you know they make an excellent pesto? It’s true!
When it comes to edible flowers and plants, nasturtiums are a bit of a superstar. The entire plant can be eaten- flowers, leaves, stems and seed pods. All parts of the plant have a peppery taste, with the leaves being much stronger than the flowers. Much more than a pretty garnish, the flowers are as high as parsley in vitamin C and contain the most lutein found in any edible plant. Not to mention they’re great in the garden, too. They self-seed prolifically, look pretty and never seem to need attention- that’s a winner in my book.
Pesto is super-versatile in the kitchen. It can be used a pasta sauce, a dip, as a topping on crackers, as a last-minute addition to soups, in a sandwich (it’s great with egg!), and as a stuffing or condiment for whole potatoes or chicken breasts. You can freeze it, too, either in sandwich bags, ice cube/muffin moulds, and it’ll keep for 3 months.
This nasturtium flower pesto is very easy to make and has a mild flavour. If you like things spicy, add a pinch or two of dried chilli into the mix. Here’s how to make it.
First, pop out to the garden and harvest some flowers- you’ll need quite a lot!
Dry-fry your nuts over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, taking care not to burn them. Meanwhile, assemble the remaining ingredients. The versatility of this recipe makes it an easy one; you can use which ever nuts, oil and cheese your prefer or have on hand.
Whizz everything in the food processor until it reaches the consistency you like. Don’t forget to throw in some rock salt and black pepper to taste.
Nasturtium Flower Pesto
- 1 frying pan
- 1 food processor
- 4 cups nasturtium flowers firmly packed
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic
- 75 grams fresh parmesan cheese
- 1 cup almonds or other nut of your choice
- salt & pepper to taste
- Fry the nuts in a dry frying pan over low heat.
- Measure out the oil and cheese.
- Place all ingredients into a food processor, and blend until a smooth consistency is reached.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days.