Nasturtiums, those vibrant, fast-growing flowers adorning your garden, can be more than just eye candy. While they’re often used as ornamental plants or natural bait to protect your veggies from pests like flea beetles, they also offer a delightful culinary secret – their flower buds and green seeds can be pickled into a flavorful treat reminiscent of capers. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of transforming these garden gems into a homemade delicacy.
Step 1: Harvest and Prepare Your Nasturtium Buds and Seeds
Before you begin your pickling adventure, you’ll need a handful of clean asturtium buds and/or green seeds. Ensure they’re free from dirt or debris, as cleanliness is key to a successful pickle.
In a bowl, sprinkle your gathered nasturtium buds and green seeds with a teaspoon of salt. The salt not only adds flavor but also helps draw out excess moisture, preserving their crisp texture.
Step 2: Let Them Rest and Marinate
Allow your salted nasturtium buds and seeds to sit for a leisurely six hours. During this time, they will marinate and develop a unique, tangy flavor that will elevate your pickled delicacy.
Step 3: Begin the Pickling Process
In a saucepan, bring 12 ml of wine vinegar to a gentle boil. This vinegar will serve as the base for your pickling liquid and infuse your nasturtiums with a delightful tartness.
Steam and Infuse
Carefully place your marinated nasturtium buds into the simmering vinegar and let them steam for a brief moment. This step infuses the vinegar with the essence of the nasturtiums, adding a distinct garden-fresh taste.
Step 4: Bottle and Wait for the Magic
Transfer your steamed nasturtium buds and vinegar into a screw-top bottle. Seal it tightly, ensuring no air can penetrate, and store it in a cool, dark place for a generous 14 days.
The Second Infusion
After your pickled concoction has matured for two weeks, bring the liquid back to a boil. This step further melds the flavors and readies your pickled nasturtiums for their final transformation.
Step 5: Store and Savor
Your homemade pickled nasturtium buds and seeds are now ready to tantalize your taste buds. Use them as a delectable addition to sausage salads, sauces or as a flavorful topping for bread and roast meats. The versatility of this pickle makes it an excellent alternative to traditional capers.
Store your pickled nasturtium delicacy in a cool, dark place, and it will reward your patience for up to six months, ensuring a garden-fresh burst of flavor whenever you desire.
Embrace the Garden-to-Table Experience
As a hobby gardener, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of turning your garden’s bounty into a delicious treat. With nasturtiums, you can elevate your culinary adventures with this garden-to-table delight. By pickling their flower buds and green seeds, you not only savor the fruits of your labor but also explore a flavorful alternative to traditional capers. So, don your apron, gather those vibrant nasturtiums, and embark on a journey from your garden straight to your plate. Your taste buds will thank you!