Nasturtiums are both a beautiful flower and a great addition to a meal. The flower has a similar peppery taste to watercress. Both the leaves and flowers of the nasturtium can be eaten raw.
Popular recipes that use Nasturtiums include pesto, salads, infused vinegar, infused butter, stuffed leaves and flowers, and chips!
Stuffed Nasturtium Leaves
- 3 cups cooked short-grain rice, (may substitute grains or other types of rice, or any combination)
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef or lamb, (optional)
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or mint
- 1/2 cup chopped nasturtium flowers
- 1-1/2 tablespoons capers
- 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 20 fresh nasturtium leaves – stem trimmed close to the leaf
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth, or chicken broth
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Wash the nasturtium leaves gently and set them aside.
MAKING THE FILLING
- Make the rice according to package directions and let it cool slightly before starting.
Place the cooked rice in a large bowl – you’ll be adding the rest of the filling ingredients to the rice.
- Sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil until softened but not browned, then add the chopped tomato and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Add this mixture to the rice and combine.
- Place the ground beef in the pan in which you cooked the onion/garlic/tomato mixture, and cook on medium heat, chopping as you go to get a fine crumbled burger.
- Once the burger is completely cooked, add it to the rice mixture, and combine.
- Now stir in the remaining ingredients – toasted pine nuts, chopped parsley, chopped nasturtium flowers, and capers. Taste, adjust with salt and pepper if needed.
MAKING THE STUFFED NASTURTIUM LEAVES
- Place one of the nasturtium leaves on your work surface, stem side down.(I like to use a large plate for this.)
- Put a teaspoon or more of the mixture in the center of the leaf, then carefully fold the two sides partially over the rice and roll tightly towards the top of the leaf, ending with the edge tucked underneath.
- Repeat with all the leaves and pack tightly in one layer with the seam of the leaf down (so they don’t unroll), into a glass or ceramic baking dish.
- Pour chicken broth over the stuffed nasturtium leaves.
- Cover the dish tightly and bake on the center rack of your oven for 45 minutes. Check to make sure the rolls are not drying out about halfway through cooking. If they are, spoon some hot broth over them. (Don’t spoon cold broth into a hot glass or ceramic baking dish, as it can cause the pan to shatter!)
- Cool slightly and serve warm, or wait longer and serve at room temperature.
- Before serving, drizzle with one tablespoon or so of olive oil, and a teaspoon or so of lemon juice. Refrigerate any remaining rolls.
We recommend halving the recipe! This is a very flexible recipe. Use your imagination and what you have on hand to create a delicious filling! This recipe makes enough filling for 20 nasturtium leaves. Extra filling can be frozen or used for something else.
Nasturtium Pesto Recipe
2 cups nasturtium leaves
1/2 cup thinly sliced nasturtium stems
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
4 cloves garlic
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; prepare an ice-water bath and set aside. Add nasturtium leaves to boiling water; cook for 10 seconds. Drain and transfer to ice-water bath until cool. Drain and set aside.
Place leaves, pine nuts, garlic, and oil in a blender; blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and fold in stems and cheese.