Nasturtium Leaves

Nasturtium Leaves with Stems

 

On the Vice Munchies rooftop garden, a Nasturtium bush bursts with bright orange flowers and green leaves. These plants are popular in the culinary world for their zingy edible flowers, but their equally beautiful leaves are similar in taste and just half the price. 

The smaller leaves can be use to garnish sweet or savory dishes, while the larger leaves will make a fun, organic appetizer plate. Their delicate round shape and striking star-like center will easily turn any plate from drab to enchanting.

Bottom-line, these often rejected leaves (for their prettier flowers) deserve a feature at your next fairytale-themed wedding. 

T <3 

 

Nasturtium Leaves in Vice Rooftop Garden

Munchies Rooftop Nasturtium

 

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BASICS

AKA: Nose Twister • Indian Cress 

Pronunciation: nuh • stur • shum

Origin: South America

Plant: Tropaeolum majus

Varieties: Verigated Nasturtium Leaves

History & Lore: The ancient Incas of Peru used nasturtium as a medicinal herb, while Thomas Jefferson grew them in his vegetable garden for aesthetic as well as eating. What’s more, during the Victorian era Vitamin C-rich Nasturtium Leaves were eaten to prevent scurvy (arrgh!). 

In Season: Summer through early Fall 

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HEALTH

Nutrients: vitamins A, C, & D • beta carotene • flavonoids • iron • manganese

Benefits: improves the immune system • soothes sore throats, coughs, and colds • has antibiotic properties • treats hair loss • alleviates respiratory congestion • stimulates the digestive system  

Replaces: arugula • spinach • mustard greens

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SHOP

Store: Farmer’s markets in Europe, regions of South America, and the United States. Seed packets can be found at garden centers.

Online: BaldorThe Chef’s Garden

Selection: Choose smaller, young leaves for milder flavor. Larger, old leaves take on a bitter, spicier flavor. If harvesting leaves from your own garden, try to pick them in the cool early morning before the heat stresses the plant and creates are more more pungent flavor. 

Other Products: Nasturtium SeedsNasturtium FlowersNasturtium Pills

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PREPARE

Grow Your Own (via The Old Farmer’s Almanac) 

Clean: Rinse the leaves under cool, running water, tossing them so all the dirt is washed off. Spread out the leaves on paper or kitchen towels and gently pat them dry. Alternately, use a salad spinner. 

Storage: Stack the nasturtium leaves on top of each other and roll them in a paper towel. Place in a sealed place bag and keep in the fridge for up to five days.

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EAT

Taste & Texture: aroma like mustard or watercress • radish-like taste • starts sweet, ends spicy • hot • tender • green • tangy • peppery • crisp 

Suggested Uses: use in sandwiches • toss in stir-fry or pasta • decorate baked goods • add to green salads • add to omelets or potato salad • use as nori in homemade sushi • add to softened cheese spreads • leave in vinegar for 1 month to make a spicy vinaigrette 

Recipes: 

Nasturtium Pizza

Nasturtium Pesto (via Martha Stewart) 

Nasturtium & Shrimp Salad (via The Old Farmer’s Almanac) 

Stuffed Nasturtium Leaves (via Attainable Sustainable) 

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COOKS NOTE

  • Nasturtium leaves are best eaten raw. Cooking them dilutes their flavor and nutritional properties, so try adding the leaves at the very end if cooking. They pair well with cheese, garlic, and various herbs. 
  • To tone down the intense bite of nasturtiums, toss them with sugar, honey, syrup, or fruit juice to give it a sweeter balance. 
  • Avoid eating nasturtiums sprayed or treated with pesticides as well as picking them from anywhere that isn’t a garden. 

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~*~ MORE ~*~

Time Lapse 

DIY Nasturtium Tote

Nasturtium Napkins

Nasturtium Mouse Pad

Nasturtium Necklace

 

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What do you know about Nasturtium Leaves? 

Food for Thought

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