Nasturtium is an edible plant. Not only are the flowers of the plant edible, but the leaves and the seeds are as well. Edible nasturtium has a peppery taste and provides a zing of flavor to virtually any dish that you want to use it on. They are very versatile plants and are easy to grow requiring very little care at all. It is important to understand that because nasturtium is an edible plant you should not use pesticides on them. There are a variety of recipes available for using edible nasturtium in your favorite dishes as well as many salads and other foods. The seeds are commonly pickled and used as a replacement for capers and they offer rich sources of Vitamin C and iron.
If you want to grow edible nasturtium yourself then you will need to find a local gardening center or an online retailer that offers the seeds for sale. There are several different varieties of nasturtium and they provide varying colors of blooms and leaves. They tend to grow best in dry soil with no fertilizer or other growth foods. If you apply fertilizer or otherwise feed them in excess, they will give you many leaves but very few flowers. Make sure that your soil is well-drained before planting and space the seeds at least ten to fifteen inches apart for the best growth potential.
There are a variety of recipes available online to give you an idea of how edible nasturtium is used for flavoring. The leaves and flowers have a spicy or peppery taste so you can use them so spice up salads, fish and any other dish that you choose. Mixed nasturtium flowers is a very popular dish and involves stuffing the flower blooms with a mixture of cream cheese and chives. Nasturtium vinegar is also popular and can be used to make sauces and salad dressings as well as other flavorings. Other recipes include nasturtium lemon butter which includes butter, grated lemon peel and lemon juice, chopped nasturtium flower blooms and various herbs. This butter is used to flavor fish and other meats as well as a spread for crackers and breads. The seeds are very commonly used as a substitute for capers. They are pickled while green and provide just the right kick for salads and pizzas as well as other dishes.
Nasturtium plants are normally not found in gardening centers. Because they grow so quickly and so easily, your best bet is to find the seeds and plant them yourself. There are many gardening centers that carry nasturtium seeds or you can search online at the many retailers that offer them. If you do find plants for sale they can normally be purchased for around $5 or less per plant. Seeds are much less expensive and can typically be found for less than $5 per pack and each pack contains several large seeds. Growing them takes little time and will provide you with many plants, giving you enough edible nasturtium for your own family as well as neighbors and friends.