Monday, August 31, 2009

Nasturtium Flower Salad

This is the first year that we have enjoyed the benefits of growing Nasturtiums. Although they do tend to take over the garden and you have to control their growth, they are helpful in keeping some of those pests away from the vegetables. As a companion plant they should be grown around cabbages, broccoil, melons, cucumbers, pumpkins, potatoes, and around fruit trees to discourage aphids, white fly, and root pests.

These beautiful edible flowers are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and have antibiotic properties. While they are not real tasty by themselves (bland with a little spicy aftertaste) they are delicious and beautiful in a salad, on a cake, or in cream cheese or pesto.

Dressing for Salad:

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 chopped scallions
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp soy sauce

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Pick the desired amount of flowers. Fill a large bowl with water and place flowers in water gently rinsing them, taking them out one by one and placing in a salad spinner. When all the flowers are washed, spin out the water. Using kitchen shears, cut off the petals just above where they attach to the stem leaving behind the tougher bottom of the flower. Wash some romaine or other type of lettuce ( a firm lettuce will work better to keep the shape of the salad because the petals will shrink down) and using a chefs knife, chiffonade. Toss dressing with lettuce a little at a time until coated. Depending on the amount of salad you are using you should have some dressing left over.  Now toss in flower petals and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if desired. To toast seeds put a little olive oil in a pan with seeds and cook over medium heat stirring constantly. They will burn easily and brown fast. Serve with Teriyaki Marinated Pork Tenderloin, if desired.


About Me

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With a degree in Restaurant Managment and Nutrition and a background in and love of the culinary arts, Jess is able to whip up delicious yet nutritious meals. She gardens extensively and uses what she grows to feed her family not only during the summer and fall but throughout the winter and spring by preserving and freezing the fresh produce. She is committed to growing, buying, and eating as much local food as possible. She started this blog to spread information about eating locally and its benefits. She also wanted to have a forum to share the recipes she uses and the stories she writes. She would love the opportunity to be able to share this knowledge to increase the amount of people using local and organic products.
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