I love eating flowers. Their vibrancy and delicate petals provide a refreshing treat to the spirit especially on hot summer days. Each flower, like anything else we ingest, will portray a bit of its energetic nature into your body.
Vibrant red-gold, pink or pale yellow, trumpet shaped blossoms a midst round smooth leaves, are the hallmark of nasturtiums –or ‘nasties’. The edible annuals are native to Peru and were brought to Europe by the Spanish conquistadors. Because they are easy to grow the plants soon became a popular addition to many gardens–and salad plates. Nasturtiums grow well from seed, but are very difficult to transplant as seedlings. Sow seeds in a sunny location that will bring out bold, bright flower and flavor.
Like other members of the cress family, the plant carries a lively peppery flavor that dances on the palate. The leaves are bolder and hardier in flavor than the blossoms, making them a wonderful addition to salads or as a garnish on a summer soup. Nasturtium blossoms have a more delicate, floral flavor. Their slightly pungent taste–and bright color–lightens and lifts the spirits.
How do you use them?
Pick the blossom with long stems, gently rinse and place them in a glass of water to keep blossoms fresh while you prepare your meal.
- Sprinkle salads with whole or shredded flowers. Their flavor blends particularly well with light vinegar dressings.
- Stuff whole blossoms with guacamole. Makes a beautiful and flavorful appetizer.
- Finely chop or shred blossoms and mix them into goat cheese for a colorful spread.
- Toss blossoms onto a cold noodle dish for a light summer picnic treat.
- Blossoms are delicious served over a delicate white-fleshed fish.
- Sprinkle blossoms over fresh steamed green beans, peas or potatoes.
- Garnish a summer soup with a blossom or two.
Feeling hot? Check out more summer cooling foods here.