How to make Poor Man's Capers from nasturtium seeds

 

Poor Man's Capers
How to make gourmet capers from nasturtium seed pods

By Marion Owen, Fearless Weeder for PlanTea, Inc. and
Co-author of Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul


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Nasturtium flowers and seed pods are edible
Nasturtium flowers and seed pods
have a nutty-pepper flavor

Nasturtiums are well known for their edible flowers and "grow anywhere" reputation. But did you know that the seed pods are edible, too? I call them Poor Man's Capers. Now you can enjoy a continuous supply of capers by following this simple pickle recipe:

Poor Man's Capers

Real capers are pickled buds from the caper bush, a perennial shrub that thrives in the Mediterranean region. Capers are a gourmet condiment and these pickled nasturtium seeds are an impressive substitute.

After the blossom falls off, pick the half-ripened (still green) nasturtium seed pods. Continue picking as long as the seed crop continues. Drop them in a boiled and cooled mixture of:

1 quart white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons pickling salt
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon pickling spice
1 clove garlic, smashed
4 to 6 peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon celery seed


Keep the mixture refrigerated and use the nasturtium pickles in sauces, dips, casseroles, soups, stews and as edible decorations. For an added attraction, freeze 2 or 3 nasturtium capers in ice cube trays and use them to dress up your next glass of V-8 or favorite ale.



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