Pickling nasturtium seed pods
Posted 29 May 2011 - 07:45 PM
I know that the seed pods are often called "poor man's capers" and googled around to get ideas about preparation. Some recipes call for brining at room temp for one to three days and then leaving in a vinegar, herb and spice mixture to cure for a while. One recipe was as simple as a salted vinegar solution at room temp and dropping in the pods as you harvest them.
Has anyone made a version that came out well? I need to get started tomorrow or the next day as the pods are ripening fast and they need to be green based on what I have read.
Thanks for any input.
Posted 30 May 2011 - 09:20 AM
I've done them with the same stuff I use for my bread and butter pickles (sweetish) and with a brine without sugar but with some mustard seeds and a garlic clove.
This is the recipe from The Splendid Table
I bring the liquids to a boil and pour over the washed pods or buds (I also use the buds before they flower)
in small jars, cap and when cool put them in the fridge. I turn them upside down every day (put jars on a small tray in case they leak) and they are ready to use in three to five days.
You can make them spicier with a small hot pepper (whole so it can be removed) in the brine.
I plant batches a month apart so I will have a continuing supply. When I lived down in the Valley, I had them all year. The ones that I will plant next month will be in the shade, protected from the wind by a shade cloth barrier because they don't tolerate the hot winds here.
The heirloom variety "Peach Melba" has the best flavor in the flowers, leaves and buds or pods.
Some of the hybrid varieties have lost the flavor and some even have an unpleasant "musty" flavor.
Edited by andiesenji, 30 May 2011 - 09:24 AM.
Posted 31 May 2011 - 10:35 AM
Posted 31 May 2011 - 10:43 AM
Thanks Andie- I am going out to pick them now. Just to clarify, when you did them refrigerator style but with the mustard seed and garlic clove, did you use them fresh or brine them on the counter like the Splendid Table recipe before proceeding?
I washed them really well - I used the salad spinner multiple times - mine had a lot of tiny thrips but no obvious damage.
I just put them in the small jars, poured the hot liquid over them, capped them and left them to cool overnight and then refrigerated them.
I'm sure either way would work.
I forgot to mention that I also put some in with a batch of lemons I was preserving. They turned out pretty good.
Posted 31 May 2011 - 10:43 AM
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Posted 31 May 2011 - 01:01 PM
I cleaned off the bits of stem and dried petals. Some of the pods were a quartet of smaller ones and I gently pulled them apart. Here they are all cleaned up.
I decided to go with a variation on the Splendid Table recipe Andie linked to. Based on Panaderia Canadiense 24 hour brine success. Here they are just after pouring in a hot brine of 2T salt and 1 cup water. I plan to leave them for a day and then do the vinegar solution. I do not plan to process them - they will reside in the fridge. Right now I am enamored of their intense sharp spice taste raw. Part of me wants to just leave that pristine, and the other part is leaning towards some yellow mustard seeds, a single garlic clove and either fresh sage or dill. Hhmmm...
Posted 31 May 2011 - 01:22 PM
I just had a chat on the phone with one of my book club members (meeting tomorrow - I have to take something on which to nibble) - and he mentioned his mother (Greek) would crush the green buds and flowers in honey, leave it overnight and the next day add hot water and drink it as a "tonic" when she would be feeling tired. (He is one of 14 children, I don't wonder the poor lady was tired!)
Their house was on a hillside and every windowbox full of flowers so you could hardly tell the house was white (with the traditional blue door) and the nasturtiums were the trailing type.
He doesn't remember if she picked the flower buds or the seed pods, just that they were little green "beads" and tasted peppery but the flowers did too.
Anyway, I thought it was interesting that there is yet another way of using them I had never heard of.
Posted 31 May 2011 - 01:28 PM
Posted 01 June 2011 - 10:41 AM
Posted 05 June 2011 - 03:32 PM