Nourishing Nasturtiums

I worked for a professional chef years ago who used fresh flowers from her garden as garnishes for her catering. This made an impression on me, and as soon as I had stopped traveling long enough to have a garden, I set out to grow my own edible flowers. I’ve had the most luck with nasturtiums and over the years, I’ve used the varying shades of yellow, orange, and red blossoms at countless events to jazz up salads and hors d’oeuvres.

Over time I became aware that you could also use the spicy blossoms to make vinegar (and dressing) and I may have come across a nasturtium-carrot soup, but other than that I thought their culinary talents were limited to the role of edible garnish. Now that I have four gargantuan and very prolific plants in my garden, I’ve been struggling to use even half of the blossoms before they fade.

A little research has turned up some great ideas for cooking with these beautiful flowers. Apparently the entire plant is edible, so you can use the beautifully-shaped leaves as a somewhat less spicy addition to a mix greens salad. The leaves and the blossoms can be chopped up and tossed with pasta salad, or you can get more creative like in this recipe for Citrus, Dates and Nasturtiums from My Halal Kitchen.com.

Nasturtium pesto, nasturtium mayonnaise, and nasturtium butter can be spread on sandwiches, seafood, grains, rice, and veggies. Apparently the dried seeds were ground and used as a replacement for pepper during World War II. You can also combine the nasturtium ‘pepper’ with salt and herbs for a seasoning mix.

Some of the most creative uses I’ve seen are stuffed nasturtiums with cream cheese, nuts, scallions, and garlic; apple mint nasturtium jelly for grilled lamb chops; and Manresa chef David Kinch’s nasturtium risotto on Martha Stewart.com.

More good news is that even if I can’t use up all the blossoms in my cooking, the plants are also great garden companions to veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers because they deter pests.

My experience with nasturtiums point to two of the reasons I love being a chef: I get inspired everytime I work with another chef and just a little curiousity always leads to a lot of culinary education.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            2 Program(s) Found
            Virginia College , Fort Pierce
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
            • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Each campus features a public restaurant where culinary students work under the direction of professional chefs for real-world experience.
            • Hosts Platt College’s Food Fight, a friendly dessert competition for students held once a month.
            • Offers programs in culinary arts, nursing, and healthcare.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (AFC) and Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • 5 campuses in Lawton, North and Central Oklahoma City, Moore, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
            Show more [+]