Nasturtiums are wonderfully colourful summer plants with big blousy flowers, great for companion planting and perfect in any container. Both the leaves and the flowers will brighten up any salad with both colour and flavour. But don’t pick all the flowers; leave plenty to go to seed. Pick the seeds (they’re peppery too) when they’re fresh and green. They only take a few days to ferment, but I have kept the fermented jars successfully in the fridge for up to 6 months (anywhere cool will work).Gardeners: let nature do the work and leave some seeds to overwinter and grow where they like. My vegetable garden is sometimes a random riot of colour with borage adding jewels of blue and purple to both garden and salads, along with bright nasturtium, parsley, fennel.
- 1 or more cups Nasturtium seeds fresh and green
- Sea Salt or Himalayan
- Filtered water
- Rinse the seeds and let them stand in a bowl of water to allow any old flower parts to float to the surface. Make sure you have no stalks remaining on your seeds before packing them into small clean glass jars.
- Make a 4-5% brine by mixing a good 2 tsp salt into 250ml filtered water. Fill the jars with the brine, making sure the seeds are well covered. However, they will float to the surface so find a small glass pebble to keep them below the surface. Put the lid on the jar, remembering to release any pressure daily.
- They only take 3-4 days to ferment. If you want to keep them through the winter, put them in your fridge (or any cool spot) as soon as you’ve made them and let them mature slowly, checking them every week.
Research has shown that Covid-19 mortality rates are lower in countries whose population eats fermented foods, read the article here. Now is the best time to get chopping and fermenting. Nasturtium ‘capers’ are a neat way to add extra fermented foods using home-grown nasturtiums. Trish Dent was inspired by Sandor Katz