Yes, you heard right! I make basil pesto in summer, parsley pesto in Autumn, and Nasturtium pesto in Winter. If you’ve ever planted nasturtiums in your garden, you’ll know they are prolific! They will veritably cover vast swathes of your garden seemingly overnight!
Nasturtiums are an amazing plant! There are so many reasons to grow them!
* They work as a living mulch, keeping the soil moist and suppressing weeds.
* The leaves and flowers are edible. Great for livening up a dreary salad. The leaves impart a slightly peppery taste.
*The seeds are high in Vitamin C. If you feel a cold or flu coming on, chew 3-4 seeds. They are real peppery and take you by surprise! Keep chewing 3-4 seeds each day until you feel better. The seeds can also be used to make “Poor Man’s Capers”.
* Nasturtium leaves provide a little magic when you pick one, make a little cup between your thumb and second finger, place a drop of water in it and observe it’s liquid silver effect. Great to share with children. Let them try to keep the water blob on the leaf while rolling it around the leaf. Beautiful. Mesmerising!
Nasturtium Pesto Recipe
- 30 Nasturtium leaves
- 1 cup parsley
- 1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 kawakawa leaves (optional) for extra peppery bite
- 1/2 tspn salt
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds, ground
- 1 Tbspn nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
Blend all ingredients in a fast speed blender. Scrape pesto into a bowl or container, drizzle olive oil over the top. Decorate pesto with a Nasturtium flower.
I owe this recipe to my daughter, really. I have always been a great experimenter in the kitchen. Often my family would ask, what’s the recipe? “Um…I can’t remember!” They would groan, but it was my daughter who kept on insisting for me to “write it down!” This is one recipe I did remember to write down, and have used a few times since. Why reinvent the wheel..? But as is my modus operandi, I add or remove ingredients according to what is growing in the garden. Feel free to experiment away with this one. It is delicious and of course, very, very healthy too! Full of chlorophyll (detoxes the blood and stimulates the immune system). Enjoy! A veritable forager’s feast.