Garden, Plant, Cook!

Monday, February 02, 2015

Nasturtiums and a Little Magic Moment in the Garden

Dear Folks,

Thanks to almost 2 inches of rain in 3 days we turned off the irrigation water and probably won't have to start up again for about 2 weeks!  Money saved.

While touring the gardens yesterday on a bright sunny morning I discovered this delightful image - it felt magical with the water drop magnifying the veins of this large nasturtium leaf.

During the Freeze 3 or so weeks ago, many of the nasturtiums took a hit but so many were already germinating and growing under the canopy of the dieback, it does not look like we were frosted at all.

Nasturtiums are some of my favorite edibles.  They happily reseed each year filling all the tree wells and volunteering in other places, like beside the compost cinder block bed etc.  They grow and bloom from fall into early summer.

The flowers, leaves, and immature seeds are totally edible and they are used as a pest-bug deterrent by some.

So how big is "large" -- 7 inches - some slightly bigger!!

I've used my leaves to make "dolma" aka stuffed grape leaves, substituting the nasturtium for grape leaves. On a side note one of these years I'm going to have to try and catch some of our fig leaves when young and make dolma (my research found references to the original dolma did use fig leaves).

Here is the link to my recipe for Nasturtium Leaf Dolma

Flowers and leaves are a great addition to salads.  The immature seeds are a nice bite of horseradish for salads, dressings, sauces or soups.  CAUTION:  Pregnant women should limit the amount of nasturtiums in their diet.

It is not too late to get some nasturtiums growing in your garden.

Nick the seeds slightly with a nail file or similar (don't go too deep), soak over night or for 2 days and plant half to 1 inch down.  Nasturtiums germinate in the dark.

Enjoy these edibles for their beauty and flavor!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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