A right old caper

Years ago I planted some nasturtium seeds in the garden… I have never needed to do so again, because they self-seed every year and I continue to get them growing all over the place. They provide a riot of colour, good ground cover and they are edible. The leaves can be added to salad or used in cooking (nasturtium leaf pesto, for example) and the flowers are also edible and look stunning as a garnish. The seed pods too are edible: until now I’ve never harvested them to eat, although I have eaten them elsewhere.

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today’s little harvest

Today I had a bit of a headache and decided to go out in the garden. Looking round I noticed the abundance of nasturtium seeds. So I picked some – it didn’t seem like many, but turned out to be about 140g. Consulting the River Cottage preserves book, I found that to make a couple of small jars of “nasturtium capers” I only need 100g, but that they do have to be soaked in a light brine for 24 hours before they are pickled with peppercorns and herbs. I, therefore, can’t actually pickle them until tomorrow. In the mean time they are soaking and I no longer have an excuse for not getting on with some work…

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24 hours to go

 

 

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24 Comments

  1. I hope they work for you. I don’t like capers much, but I know they’re considered a delicacy 🙂

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    • To my taste, real capers have a slightly odd musty flavour, but nasturtiums are much ‘fresher’ and the nasturtium capers I tasted before were good. I think these have the potential to be a good addition to various dishes, but I’m only going to use the ones I’ve pick and not get carried away with making loads and loads in case I hate them!

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  2. Hope the headache is better too!

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  3. I feel like dill would be a nice addition.

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  4. The pizza I ordered on Sunday night had anchovies, onions and CAPERS. Total deliciousness. Very interested to hear about your nasturtium variety.

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  5. I have made them using the same recipe – lovely in tartare sauce.

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  6. A timely reminder to pick and pickle mine! Never done it before but I love capers and so do my sons, so if I make plenty I’ll find a good home for them all. I love them in egg sandwiches and salads. As I keep hens on my allotment and bake all our own bread, home-made capers will round that off nicely!

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  7. Laurie Graves

     /  October 3, 2017

    Keep us posted!

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  8. I love capers and I also love nasturtium capers. I know this because even though it was a long time ago when I tasted them I have, ever since, wanted to have enough nasturtium seeds to make my own.

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  9. Ooooh, I had no idea you could do this with nasturtiums! And I love capers… Do keep us posted on how these turn out! 😀

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  10. I’m keen to learn how they turn out. My mom covers her hillside in nasturtiums, so I’d be swimming in capers if this works well!

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    • They are done – once they have soaked in brine for 24 hours, preparation just consists of putting them in a jar and pouring vinegar over, adding any spices of herbs you feel like. I put in green peppercorns and rosemary, but I’m wondering if I should do a jar with chillies in too.

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      • Oooh! This is too easy and tempting not to try…time to put my mom to work gathering seeds!

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        • Just make sure they are green and haven’t started to dry out… you wouldn’t want woody fake capers! The brine was made from 15g salt dissolved in 300ml water and they were soaker for 24 hours, then dried before being put in the jars with herbs/spices and covered with vinegar. The recipe says white wine vinegar, but I used cider vinegar because I prefer the flavour.

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