– by Rachelle Fordyce
If you’ve read our previous post on nasturtiums, you’ll already have learned a little history and background about the extremely versatile and nifty (not to mention nummy!) nasturtium plant. Its leaves as well as its blossoms have been known to delight gardener and chef alike!
Read on, and you’ll definitely discover a delicious way to create a decadent and delectable delight using the notoriously nummy nasturtium to create… Nasturtium Pesto!
Pesto is often defined as a sauce made from fresh basil, garlic, oil, pine nuts, and grated cheese. But you certainly don’t need the cheese to make a delicious pesto; pine nuts can easily be replaced by another type of soft fatty nut (or omitted completely); and although basil is indeed delicious, you can definitely create a delicious pesto with another flavorful herb or green — like nasturtium leaves! Nasturtium leaves and their potently peppery pizazz are perfect for making pesto!
Here’s a recipe for nasturtium pesto I’d like to share with you. It was inspired by a nasturtium pesto recipe created by award-winning French chef Joel Chenet — I’ve just made a few tiny tweaks of my own!
- 4 cups packed nasturtium leaves
- 3-5 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 cups cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Simply place the above ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Presto! You’ve just made Nasturtium Pesto!
Now, how should you enjoy this decadent delight? Pesto is most often enjoyed on pasta, but if you’re following a raw diet, then simply whip up some zucchini noodles using your handy-dandy spiralizer! It’s a good idea to keep the skin on zucchinis when making zucchini noodles due to the skin’s nutritional value, although admittedly it’ll look less like the “real deal”. So if you’re wanting your zucchini noodles to look more like real spaghetti noodles, then simply peel the skin from the zucchini before turning into noodle-y goodness.
Another way you can enjoy this nasturtium pesto is to use it as a spread for flax crackers or as a dip for veggies. You can even include a small amount as a base to a raw soup or savory to add a flavorful kick! And, I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t put a little atop a lovely green salad, if you so desired.
Something I’ve done with pesto in the past is to portion out the pesto into ice cube trays, and then freeze it. Each ice cube portion of pesto would equate to a serving, which you can take out and let thaw earlier in the day so that it’s ready to use by afternoon or evening. Or, just keep it fresh — like life’s supposed to be — and host a party! 🙂
Your guests will surely drool over this decadently delicious treat.