I love nasturtiums so much! Fun to say, fun to eat, useful, and beautiful – what’s not to love?
Both the leaves and flowers of the nasturtium plant are edible and make a gorgeous addition to any salad. You might think the delicate leaves and showy flowers, which come in a wide range of colors, would be sweet. You would be wrong. They taste like horseradish, of all things! I love to encourage people to taste a leaf and watch their faces when they realize the punch nasturtiums pack.
Nasturtiums are also very useful in the garden. First, they attract pollinators, especially big boys like bumble or carpenter bees. Second, they attract aphids, which you might not think is a good thing at first. But better the aphids chow down on your flowers than your crops, right? Planting something that lures pests away from the plants you grow to eat is called “trap cropping” and nasturtiums are a great example.
Lastly, nasturtium seeds are crazy! They look like little brains and taste like the rest of the plant. You can even pickle them to make “Poor Man’s Capers” – a delicious addition to your piccata!