I’m growing Nasturtium 'Spitfire' for the Garden Bloggers Grow Project. (Thanks to Renee's Garden for the seeds.)
I had thought to grow them up my trellis, but you have to train them since they aren't really climbers--they need to be tied, and the stems keep breaking, because they want to trail. Fortunately, I also planted some along the high edge of one of my vegetable beds, so I'll let them just trail there, and maybe tie a few up the smaller plant stand that they are under.
The ones on the gate and back by my fence are small-too shady for these, but the latest planted-under a plant stand- seem to be thriving.
Nasturtiums, of course, are not just a beautiful flower. They are also a garden beneficial, attracting aphids away from more desirable plants like tomatoes, and are also edible. I often pop a nasturtium flower in my mouth when I'm working outside, for the quick delicious peppery taste, and for a little water.
Recently,the getinthegarden.com blog came up with the wonderful idea of nasturtium dolma. My leaves were not quite large enough (you need palm-sized leaves to be able to roll them), but I made this layered casserole.
1 1/2 cups cooked pearl barley
1 small summer squash, diced
1/4 cup pine nuts
small onion, diced
mushroom (any type), diced
cardamom, garam masala, sea salt, black pepper to taste
Stir fry the vegetables and nuts in a little sesame oil; add the spices and continue to saute until the veggies are coated with the oil and spices. Add the cooked barley and saute another 5 minutes or so, until it's all hot and mixed.
Lay out several nasturtium leaves and lay a spoonful of filling on each, then fold and place them side by side in a loaf pan so that the edges of the leaves hold each other up like little envelopes. You don't need to brine or pre-cook the leaves; laying the hot filling on them cooks them slightly, making them a little easier to handle.
Bake at 300F/145C for 20 minutes. Serve with yogurt-cucumber sauce.
(Warning- they fall apart, but are delicious)
1 day ago