Tropaeolum majus, also known by their common name of “nose twist” are an abundant annual in our greenhouses, attracting both pollinators and chefs alike!
Rich in vitamin C, also manganese, iron, flavonoids and beta carotene, their red, orange and yellow flower heads add a splash of colour and both flowers and leaves add a peppery mustard flavour, making them a versatile culinary ingredient. In fact, the seeds and seed pods can also be eaten, meaning there is very little waste with this plant.
PESTO: Boil leaves for a short time to wilt and blend with pine nuts, olive oil, and garlic before folding in the chopped stems and flakes of Parmesan.
STUFFED: Flowers are delicious stuffed with garlic cream cheese as a cold canape, or use the leaves instead of vine leaves for a variation on Greek Dolmades.
RISOTTO: Add chopped leaves with chervil and courgettes to a risotto for seasonal zing, stir through petals for added colour.
SALADS: Chopped leaves for pepper hints, a good substitute for watercress, and flower heads for big visuals and taste.
TEA: Add 1 cup of leaves and flowers to 1 litre of boiling water and infuse for 15 minutes. Drink hot or chilled.
DECORATION: Flower heads and petals can be used to decorate any of the above dishes, or for cakes and cheeseboards.
Do not eat nasturtiums that have been sprayed or treated with pesticides. Do not pick nasturtiums from the roadside or take them from anywhere if you cannot be sure how safe they are. Remove the stamen and pistil before consuming.
Buy now online to try, or ask your wholesaler for samples or an order.