Around here the nasturtiums are always working overtime. There is always a lovely drift just inside the garden gate welcoming you in with their sunny faces. Besides being beautiful and a lovely home for our resident fairies, they are dead useful!
By this time I think you all know about eating the lovely blossoms. And I am sure quite a few of you are eating the deliciously peppery leaves. They are a bit like cress and make lovely additions to your salads and pretty tea sandwiches. There just might be those among you who know about pickling the seed pods. Once finished they can be used just like capers!
sitting in their brine waiting to be rinsed and packed in white wine vinegar
I can hear you now. You are thinking who has time to pick nasturtium seed pods! You do! It only took me about 15 minutes to gather enough to process. 15 lovely sunny, bird song filled minutes communing with my garden and grabbing a bit of sanity from the bees.
Makes ½ cup
2 tablespoons salt
1 cup water
½ cup green nasturtium seedpods
¾ cup white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 fresh bay leaves, or 1 dried
2 3-inch sprigs fresh thyme
Bring the salt and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Separate the seeds from the pods, place the seeds in a half-pint glass jar and fill with boiling brine. Cover and let them soak at room temperature for three days.
Drain the nasturtium seeds in a fine sieve and return them to the jar. Combine vinegar, sugar, lemon zest, bay leaves, thyme sprigs and arugula flowers and bring to a boil in a small (1-quart) saucepan. Pour the boiling vinegar mixture over the seeds and let cool.
Refrigerate covered for three days before using. Store covered for up to six months in the refrigerator.