Friday, July 08, 2016


From Online Etymology:
"nasturtium (n.)
mid-12c., "plant of the mustard family, like watercress," from Latin nasturtium "cress;" the popular etymology explanation of the name (Pliny) is that it is from Latin *nasitortium, literally "nose-twist," from nasus "nose" (see nose (n.)) + past participle of torquere "to twist" (see torque (n.)); the plant so called for its pungent odor. Modern application to a South American trailing plant with orange flowers first recorded 1704."

"While most edible flowers have a subtle flavor, nasturtiums knock your socks off with their peppery taste. Plus, it's not just the flowers and buds that are packed with a zippy flavor; the young leaves are tender and edible as well. Nasturtiums are popular with chefs and home gardeners because their colorful flowers not only dress up a plate, they're high in vitamins A, C (10 times as much as lettuce), and D." [From National Garden Association]

"This Peruvian native was introduced into Europe back about 1686. During the late 1700s, the famous Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus noted the similarity in appearance between the plant's brilliant flowers and the gold (and often blood-stained) helmets — called tropaea — worn by ancient Roman warriors. Hence the Latin name Tropaeolum." [From MotherEarthNews]
In Observations on the Colors of Flowers (1899),  Eliphalet Williams Hervey writes that the stripes going down on the nasturtiums are 
'honey guides' for insects. (pp 57-59)

Recipe from Horcticult

We call this salad The Loro:
Ingredients (serves two)
 – 10 nasturtium flowers, rinsed thoroughly in cold water
 – goat cheese
 – 6 oz. baby greens
 – 2 tablespoons almonds
 – balsamic vinaigrette
 – raisins
 – 1 clove garlic, minced

Recipe continued

 1. Roll goat cheese into balls of about ½-inch diameter.
 2. Peel away and discard nasturtium sepals, then gently pluck the petals.
 3. Smooth petals onto goat cheese balls, arranging them into a floral shape.
 5. Toss remaining ingredients
 6. Salt and pepper to taste. 
7. Garnish with petal-covered cheese balls.
 8. Graze!

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