Sunday, September 05, 2010

SeedGROW Project September Update

Wow, is it really September?! Well my 'Spitfire' nasturtiums don't seem too scared, they are blooming away like there are several months of summer left. Becoming somewhat overtaken by veggie foliage, yet managing to show their flowers anyway...
....even if they have to duck under the planter to do it!

The nasturtium in this grouping faces similar challenges, but if you look closely you can see the splashes of red here and there.
Another benefit of growing these prolific bloomers are the seeds they produce. I read that you can pickle them to make capers, so I decided to try it. One problem: the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of green nasturtium seeds, and I just can't come up with that many at once (when they turn yellow they can't be used).
So I'm going to freeze them as they're gathered until I have enough.
This should be interesting!

Update: I realized later (as is my goofy way of doing things) that including the caper recipe might have been helpful! So here it is:

The Nasturtium Capers
You need to pick them when they are still green and smallish; if they are golden or yellow they will be tough.Late summer is the time to pick them. You need to look under the leaves closer to the main stem to find them.There is a textural difference with the nasturtium pods.They are crisper, juicer, slightly peppery and have the salty briny taste that you expect from capers as well.They are also slightly larger. In many respects they are more complex tasting.
2 tablespoons salt1 cup water1/2 cup green nasturtium seedpods3/4 cup white wine vinegar2 teaspoons sugar2 fresh bay laurel leaves, or 1 dried2 3-inch sprigs fresh thyme
Brining: Bring the salt and water to a boil in a small saucepan.Put the nasturtium seed pods in a heat proof glass jar and pour the boiling brine over them.Cover and let them soak at room temperature for 3 days.When you pour this over you will see them go from bright green to a much paler lemony green.
Pickling: Drain the nasturtium seed pods in a fine sieve and return them to the jar.Bring the vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, and thyme to a boil.Pour the boiling vinegar mixture over the seed pods and let cool.Cover the jar and refrigerate for 3 days before using.They’ll keep for 6 months in the refrigerator if covered in the vinegar.

"I'm growing Nasturtium "Spitfire" for the GROW project, thanks to Renee's Garden for the seeds."


meemsnyc said...

Oh neat! I had no idea you could make capers out of these! Nice.

lisa said...

Right? I thought it sounded cool, too :)

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I had no ideas about the capers either. It's 42 here this morning and may have dipped down to freezing overnight because my nasties, which have been struggling all season anyway, seem to have given up entirely. Hope yours are still going so you can get more green seeds.

lisa said...

Sorry to hear about your nasties! I think the big squash and cuke leaves are helping to protect mine, in fact they seemed to perk up when it got cooler. Fingers crossed for more seeds, I don't even have enough to make a half batch yet.

garden girl said...

Very cool - nasty capers! I hope you get more blooms so you can collect more seeds.

Our nasties haven't bloomed since early June, but I'm hoping for a few flowers now that weather is cooler.

Anonymous said...

Capers? Hmmm, sounds mysteriously appetizing. How do you collect the seed? (You'd think a master gardener would know.)

lisa said...

Garden Girl-I hope the cool weather helps your blooms rebound! I'm lucky that way-the temps up here are always nice and cool at night, no matter how hot it got during the day. My nasties just love it!

Thewritegardener-I just pinch them off the stem when I see them there, they appear after the spent bloom falls off. I have noticed that some of the other varieties I planted don't appear to be producing seeds, namely 'Moongleam'. Weird.

Abbie said...

jealous about your seeds ... I had been planning all summer to make homemade capers, but nary a seed has appeared in my garden! Sigh.

lisa said...

Sorry to hear it :( Maybe you got ahold of a variety that doesn't produce seed (like some of mine were.) I think I just lucked out by planting different kinds in a variety of locations around the yard (4 types in 6 different spots.)

MrBrownThumb said...

I want to try to make capers too! I'm hoping I have plenty of green ones pretty soon.

lisa said...

Fingers crossed for some warm fall weather so our nasties stay happy! (Heh, that could sooo be taken out of context, eh? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, that could sooo be taken out of context... ;)

Everything looks so good! I can't beleive you're gonna get corn from a container!

Btw, I think my cyber nanny IS screwing with me, cause I didn't get notice of this post either.

lisa said...


RIGHT?! My pal Monica got two ears from just ONE lone stalk!

Naughty Nanny! :(