Monday, January 4, 2016

A Nasty Christmas?

Today is January the 4th, time to get back to work for many of us. Living in a tourist town, the time to walk, swim, shop and drink coffee is before ten in the morning. The summer crowds begin to gather then, driving me to head for home and settle down to work.

Last year was a particularly good year for nasturtiums in the garden. Now you have all opened your Christmas presents and I won't be spoiling the surprise, I can share how I made them.
Theses recipes are from 'Cooking with Flowers'...coming soon!

Nasturtium Vinegar

Fill a jar with the reddest nasturtium flowers you can find.
Top up with good white wine vinegar and put lid on.
Allow to steep for a week.
Strain and bottle.

Pickled Nasturtium Pods

Fill a jar with young nasturtium seeds, they need to be small and green. If they are pale and hard, they are too old to pickle and will turn out like ball bearings, leave them for next years crop of plants.
Cover with water.
Rinse each day for 3 days.
The water will smell dreadful, it is the bitter principles leaching out.
Day 4, place in a sieve to drain and dry slightly before returning to the jar.
Top up the jar with cider vinegar to cover the seeds and replace lid.
Leave a week or more before using as a great substitute for capers. 

So, that as the present...
Here's the recipe that went with it:

Nasturtium Dressing

1 egg yolk
1 tsp  French mustard
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp nasturtium vinegar
2 drops of Tabasco
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or with a stick blender.
Sunflower or grape seed oil
Gradually drizzle in until the mixture thickens.
2Tbsp pickled nasturtium seeds, chopped fine
1 small gherkin, chopped fine
1-2 tsp finely chopped fresh lemon thyme

Serve with seafood, potatoes or as a salad dressing.
If you would like to see it a stronger shade of pink, chop 4 red nasturtium flowers and stir through. Stir again before serving OR mix in 2 tsp of tomato sauce if flowers aren’t available.

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