Nasturtium (Tropaeolum minus) is a generous, prolific plant. It flowers multiple times a year, covers the ground, protecting the soil and its many inhabitants. And, every part of the plant is edible! The flowers and leaves are great in salads. In May, it starts to produce its seeds, in pods of three or four.
The pods have a sharp, peppery or mustard-like pungency to them. I’ve often mashed them, to create a wasabi paste substitute! They can also be pickled, fermented-style, of course! Slightly larger than traditional capers, nasturtium pods offer a locally foraged, seasonal alternative. Here’s how we make them:
- 2 cups (500 ml) nasturtium seeds
- 3 sprigs fresh dill leaves
- 3 cloves garlic
- filtered water
- sea salt
- Clean and separate the pods into seeds, removing any plant material like stems and wilted petals. Rinse lightly under cool water.
- Make a 4% brine by dissolving 2 teaspoons (10 ml) fine sea salt into 1 cup (250 ml) warm water.
- Break nasturtium pod clusters into individual seeds.
- Add dill and peeled garlic to a jar. Add nasturtium pods on top.
- Cover with brine. Secure jar with lid.
- Ferment at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Store in refrigerator.