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Nasturtium

UK Garden Centre - Information about Nasturtium as a vegetable

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You may be surprised to find nasturtium with vegetables, yet both its leaves and flowers have been used as saladings for centuries. Now that the cottage garden is no longer the basic source of greenstuff for the kitchen, the use of this flowering plant as a vegetable has greatly declined. It is a pity – the leaves have a peppery taste, rather like watercress, and can add zest to flavourless butterhead lettuce.
There is, of course, no need to grow nasturtium on the vegetable plot – raise them in the flower bed as usual. Sow a climbing variety, such as Tall Mixed, or a semi-trailer like Golden Gleam. Nasturtium thrives best in a poor, sandy soil – sow seeds in April, ½ in (1cm) deep and 1ft (30cm) apart. Pick young and fresh leaves for salads and sandwiches – make sure that blackfly are removed before use. Flowers can also be added to salads but they have less flavour – seeds are used for pickling as a substitute for capers. To make nasturtium salad, mix nasturtium leaves with an equal quantity of shredded lettuce in a garlic-rubbed bowl. Add quartered hard boiled eggs, dress with a vinaigrette dressing and garnish with nasturtium flowers.

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