Look! Nasturtium Capers

Look! Nasturtium Capers

Emily Han
Jun 20, 2011

Have you ever had nasturtium capers? We traded some elderflower cordial for a jar of these homemade pickles at a recent food swap and they're absolutely delicious!

We have enjoyed the nasturtium plant's peppery green leaves and yellow-orange flowers before, but this is our first time eating the seed pods. The "capers" were made by our friend Heather Parlato, who writes for LAist, where she describes nasturtiums as "infinitely edible" and "very garden-friendly ... thriving in poor soil with little water and lots of sun." Here in Los Angeles, nasturtiums grow like weeds across gardens and hillsides, making them an easy and economical food source.

Sometimes referred to as "poor man's capers," the seeds can be pickled in a brine of vinegar and spices; Heather used peppercorns, mustard seeds, bay leaves, and thyme. Their tangy flavor is quite similar to genuine capers, and they're delightfully crunchy. We've been eating them in salads and pasta and might even try frying them!

Learn more:
Now is the Time for Nasturtiums! (LAist)
Pickle nasturtium seeds for 'capers' (The Oregonian)

Related: Container Gardening Inspiration: Edible Nasturtiums

(Images: Sunrise Seeds; Emily Ho)

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