Are you ready for a culinary adventure? This summer, we will be offering a variety of edible flowers to spice up your menu and provide you with variety.
Yes—you read it correctly: flowers that you can eat. It might not be a common practice in today’s traditional American cuisine, but certain types of blossoms have been making their way onto peoples’ plates for centuries. Their pretty colors and unique flavors add interest to many different dishes, from desserts to main dishes.
One of the edible flowers we will be growing this spring and summer is nasturtium, a member of the Tropaeolaceae family. It is a plant that looks as good in the landscape outside our greenhouses as it does when garnishing a salad, with its smooth round leaves and brightly colored flowers. These blooms are a personal favorite of mine: their vivid orange and yellow colors pop up cheerily above the green foliage and gently bob up and down in the wind. Nasturtium is also an incredibly easy plant to grow, as it is not picky about soil conditions and its growth cycle is rapid.
Best of all, nasturtium can be eaten. The seeds, flowers, leaves and stems are all edible and deliver a unique new flavor to many types of dishes. The leaves taste similar to watercress, with a spicy yet slightly sweet flavor, while the flowers are somewhat milder. Both are added to salads, soups, appetizers, pestos and more. Meanwhile, the young seed pods can be pickled and used as capers or dried and ground into powder as a substitute for pepper. As an added bonus, nasturtium is high in vitamin C. The flowers can also be used as a stunning garnish on a plate—a good option for the less adventurous.
So, are you ready to try something new? Check back with us this summer and we will send you some fresh flowers to brighten up your salad, dinner or dessert plate!
Disclaimer: Individuals with gastrointestinal ulcers or kidney disease should not eat nasturtium.