Nasturtium – 4 Delicious Ways to Use This Edible Flower

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Nasturtium: 4 Delicious Ways to Use This Edible Flower



Do you grow nasturtium in your garden? It’s a quick-growing, easy plant, that will grow well in containers and hanging baskets as well as in the veggie patch or flower borders. It will creep and climb and loves a trellis or wall to cover with its colourful trumpet-shapes flowers and saucer-like leaves. Head down to the Bridge Cottage garden to read more about:

In this post, we’ve come inside to the kitchen, and are going to look at three ways to use nasturtium as a free, nutritious food source. Nasturtiums, using both leaves and petals, are high in vitamin C, and will improve the immune system. They will help to treat sore throats, coughs and cold, and fight a bacterial or fungal infection. Studies have shown that the leaves have antibiotic properties and are most effective prior to flowering.

Nasturtium is used in traditional medicine, for a wide range of illnesses and is said to help with hair loss. I’d better do and make Tim a nasturtium cap for his lack of hair then! Maybe not, I’m rather fond of his bald head.

Come on in, let’s go into the kitchen:

Nasturtium in salad

Nasturtium in salad

Nasturtium in Salads

Nasturtium leaves have a mildly peppery taste and will add flavour and colour to your salads, used with the flowers. Choose young leaves, and open flowers, wash any creepy crawlies away or leave on a piece of paper, and the bugs will crawl off to find pastures new. Add to salad leaves such as rocket, lettuce, young spinach or beetroot leaves, and add fresh herbs for an interesting salad

If you are making salads, don’t forget about the floral vinegars we made back in the late spring. You might have some in the cupboard to use for salad dressing.

Nasturtium Pesto

Ingredients for nasturtium pesto

Ingredients for nasturtium pesto

Nasturtium pesto favourite discovery this year and is inspired by the Garden Pesto by Pam Corbin from the wonderful book of Preserves in the River Cottage series. Being still in partial lockdown, I didn’t have all the ingredients to hand that Pam suggests but made a delicious pesto with these ingredients. We had a chicken, roasted in the outside oven, and a dollop of delicious nasturtium pesto was the perfect accompaniment.






Nasturtium pesto

Nasturtium pesto

Makes 2x 225 jars

50g nasturtium leaves

Handful of mint leaves

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

6 or so nasturtium pods

50 g pine nuts (I used cashews)

75g mature, hard cheese (I used a Northumberland equivalent of parmesan)

Juice ½ lemon (50ml)

150ml hemp, rapeseed or olive oil, plus extra to seal

Petals from 2 calendula (marigold) flowers

Salt to taste

Bung all the ingredients apart from the calendula petals & salt in a food processor and whizz until soft and well mixed. Remove and fold in the petals and salt.
Place in small, sterilised jars and pour a little oil over the surface to exclude any air and seal.

Either store in the fridge and use within four weeks or put into portions in small bags or an ice cube tray and freeze for use later in the year. You’ll be glad you did in January!


Nasturtium Seeds

Nasturtium Seeds

Poor Man’s Capers

Again, I’ve used the recipe from Pam’s book – do get yourself a copy, it’s stuffed full of amazing recipes for preserves.

Makes 2 x 115g jars

15g salt

100g Nasturtium seed pods

A few peppercorns (optional)

Fresh herbs (eg dill or tarragon)

200ml white wine vinegar


Make a light brine by dissolving the salt in 300ml water. Put nasturtium seeds in a bowl and cover with cold brine. Leave for 24 hours.

Drain the seed pods and dry well. Pack them into small, sterilised jars (see p 29) with, if you like, a few peppercorns and some herbs. Leave room for 1cm vinegar at the top. Cover the seeds with vinegar and cover with vinegar proof lids. Store in a cool, dark place before eating and use within a year.

I’m making some of these for Christmas stocking fillers!

Pam recommends using these to make a tartare sauce, by mixing 100g mayonnaise with 2-3 finely chopped spring onions or the white part of a leek, I tbsp chopped nasturtium capers, I heaped tbsp finely chopped parsley, a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with white fish, fish and chips, hot or cold salmon or trout, or a salad of freshly cooked baby beetroot with young broad beans and rocket or other leaves.

Socially distanced cup of tea

Socially distanced cup of tea

Do you have any other suggestions for using nasturtium flowers and or leaves? I’ve just seen a recipe for Wild Hot Sauce over on Pinterest, and this is my fourth suggestion. I haven’t yet made it, but my friend, Ceri from Oakwood Soaperie, who came for a socially distanced cup of tea today in the Bridge Cottage Garden recommends it. I’ll make a Bridge Cottage version with our Ring of Fire Chillies and post this when it’s been tried and tested bu our youngest son John, who is the hot sauce expert. …….more about chillies coming up later.

As ever, we’d love you to share your thoughts, either by leaving a comment here or on our social media pages, where this article will be shared.

You can find the Bridge Cottage Way on Facebook Twitter and Instagram.

You might enjoy some of the writing and ideas in other sections of this website, as we look towards leading more sustainable lives by growing our own food and creating dishes in line with seasonal eating, or head to our handy ‘Month by Month’ guides to find out what we have been doing here at Bridge Cottage as the months go by:

Many thanks for reading.

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Tim & Sue in the Bridge Cottage Way garden

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