Yid.Dish: Nasturtium Butter, A Gardener Cooks

By Jeannette Hartman

Published July 15, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Call me old-fashioned, but I always thought flowers were for vases – not plates.

Oh, sure, I read the articles showing a cheerful chef tossing a nasturtium blossom on a pile of lettuce. Surely a tasteless bid for attention, I sniffed.

A recent web search for organic pest riddance has given me a new taste for ripe nasturtium blossoms, leaves and seed pods.

Gardeners have long loved nasturtiums as companion plants to keep insects off of collards, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, fruit trees and radishes. Nasturtiums themselves are as edible as the vegetables and fruits they protect.

The flavors are not dramatic. Blossoms, tossed whole or torn into salads, taste like mild radishes. Sautéed nasturtium leaves processed into a cold vichyssoise are peppery. Bined or pickled seedpods make a poor gourmet’s capers.

Here is one of my favorite recipes: nasturtium butter. The petals give the butter a wonderful gold color. This is excellent on freshly steamed vegetables or fish.

Nasturtium Butter (Adapted from Brenda Hyde’s Old Fashioned Living)

1 pound butter, softened

1 quart nasturtium blossoms, well washed and dried

1 clove of garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lemon

In the bowl of a food processor, put in the butter, nasturtiums, lemon juice and garlic. Process until completely well mixed. (Depending on your wishes, you can process all the ingredients — except the nasturtium blossoms — well, and then toss the blossoms in and pulse briefly. This makes the blossoms more obvious in the butter.)

Scrape into a bowl that contrasts well with the golden color of the nasturtium butter. Stick several nasturtium blossoms in the center of the butter and chill. This has a wonderful color and a festive presentation. It’s best used quickly. Over time, the water from the flowers tends to sweat out.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?








You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:













We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.