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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Nummy Nasturtiums

The tiny nasturtium plant I put in my planter a few weeks ago is exploding with flowers. I thought it would be fun (and pretty) to grow some edible flowers this summer. 

First I popped a nasturtium right off the plant and popped it in my mouth just to make sure they weren't totally disgusting. Turns out, they're not at all disgusting. They have a little bit of spice to them, but no bitterness or anything unpleasant going on. I figured the taste was subtle enough to try out in just about anything so... 

Yesterday was very hot and a perfect day for ice cream (any day is a good day for ice cream in my book). Edible nasturtiums made our vanilla a little more exciting and made me think about someplace more exotic than backyard Wisconsin.
Petals frozen in ice cube trays made ice water interesting. 
Nasturtium sandwiches (or sammies as we call them around here) were fun. They work best when you split a baguette down the middle and load it up. Then you can stick the flower in there for a little lunchtime pizzazz. 
Have you ever seen insects petrified in amber? This nasturtium Jello kind of reminded me of that. But prettier of course. 

I really wish Jello would make a clear colored gelatin. You can make clear gelatin, but honestly, it seemed a little too complicated for me. Someday. For this I just used one of the lighter colors of Jello (lemon) so the nasturtiums would show up better. I put the flowers face down in cupcake tins. One flower per cup. Then I made the Jello in a bowl following the package instructions. Very slowly, I poured the mixture over the flowers. One packed filled six cups. After four hours in the fridge, I took a warm knife (ran under hot water) and ran around the top edges. Then I put a cold plate over the cupcake tins and flipped upside down and tapped on the bottom of the cups to pop them out. 
I love steamed caulifower, but it's not the most exciting thing to look at. Add some nasturtiums and BAM! You're dining at a tropical tiki hut. 
This is the plant that made it all possible. The only negative thing I can say about nasturtiums is that they're kind of bossy. Along with the cilantro, they've plotted to squeeze out the other herbs in my pretty big planter (about 2'x2'). But that's a much better problem to have than a plant that doesn't take off. 

I've gotten so excited about eating nasturtiums, that I have about 5 or so more ideas. I just have to wait another day before I can cut another dozen + flowers off this thing. It's amazing how quickly the flowers grow. 

And I do want to try these ideas out instead of just blogging a list, because one thing I tried and turned out to be a total fail was chocolate covered nasturtiums. Ha! The flowers wilted instantly as soon as they hit the warm chocolate and instead of looking like beautiful chocolate flower sculptures, they looked like something else that I better not mention in a post about food. 


 
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