Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pickled nasturtium "capers"

I've always wanted to make these but thought it would be difficult. I was confused about what part of the nasturtium to use. So I took the plunge and can share some tips to assure you its easy. They have to cure in the jar for three months so I can't give any report on taste, not until late September, but you might like to check back in when I open them.

So, first of all, you need to collect the seeds of the nasturtiums. When the flowers die back the vine produces shiny seeds on the end of curly stalks. The seeds are actually a cluster of three or four.

I suggest you crouch down low to find them as they hide really well under the leaves.  Its easy to tell them apart from the flower buds, although I suspected that would not be the case. The buds are single and dull.

This close up shows the seeds in the bottom of the frame and a bud near the top to the right of the full flower.

So, once you have picked enough seeds for a small jar follow these simple steps from Sarah O'Neill's The Good Life: four glorious seasons in my country garden.

Add to a saucepan, enough white vinegar to fill the jar, two peppercorns per 200ml of vinegar, 5ml of salt and herbs to your taste for example bay leaf and thyme. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove stems from the seeds and break apart the clusters. Add to the jar. Pour in vinegar and seal. Set aside to cool and for the button to pop down on the jar.

Label and date. Store in the fridge for three months before opening and enjoying.

I hope this makes it easy for you. Lets chat again in 3 months when I break the seal.

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