I headed out around my neighborhood with bags in hand and collected both flowers and young seed pods.
|Wild overgrown bush of nasturtiums|
These flowers grow everywhere. I wondered around and collected from about 5 different patches in my neighbors front yards.
|Young seed pods|
lacto-fermentation method of pickling for these.
Poor Man's Capers (lacto-fermented)
Young Nasturtium Seed Pods (enough to fill your jar with 1/2 inch space at the top)
zest from one lemon
1 small onion cut in to slices
clove of garlic cut in to 2-4 pieces
bay leaf ripped in half
3 or 4 small sprigs of thyme
about 6 pepper corns
Mix all the ingredients (minus the salt) together in a bowl then empty in to your jar. The goal is to have the flavorings spread out somewhat evenly. Sprinkle in the salt then fill with water up to the top. Put cap on jar then shake well to dissolve the salt. Uncap the jar, place inside a dish (to catch any liquid that might spill over), then top with a plastic bag filled with just enough water to seal off the entire opening of the jar. Make sure all organic material is under water and not touching air. Let sit to lacto-ferment for 6 days. You should see a good amount of bubbles forming and the liquid should smell sour.
You can use these capers the same way you can use the real deal. The only difference is these ones will cost you next to nothing, be hyper local, handmade, and great for your digestion.
The next thing I made was a quick tasty dressing/sauce using the nasturtium flowers.
6 cups of loose nasturtium flowers (or one produce bag full)
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup apple-cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
1/4 cup water
Place all ingredients in blender and process till smooth.
This is a super basic recipe. Feel free to play with the ingredients. Add herbs from your garden, try a different type of oil/vinegar, or add other edible flowers. Each new ingredient will change the flavor just a little bit. Mess around till you find your perfect combo.
I used this sauce as a flavoring for a vegetable quinoa dish I made (below). I love the bright orange color and could imagine using this as a salad dressing, sauce on meat, or dip.
|Quinoa with garden vegetables and Nasturtium dressing|