For a while now, I have grown various herbs each summer, but a couple of years ago I branched out into growing edible flowers too. Reading articles on the subject, it turns out that flowers have been used for centuries in the kitchen, but I like to use mine raw so that I can get the most out of them nutrient-wise.
One of my favourites is Nasturtium.
Also known as Indian Cress or Monks Cress, Nasturtium gets its name from the Latin “nasus tortus” which means “twisted nose”, referring to its pungent flavour. Unlike most other edible flowers with their ever so delicate flavour, Nasturtium carries quite a peppery punch.
Both the leaves and flowers (beautiful reds, yellows and oranges) can be eaten and make a wonderful addition to salads. I confess one of my faves is a simple Nasturtium sandwich: granary bread and butter with a generous helping of leaves and a couple of flowers.
A great advantage to Nasturtium is that it is incredible easy to grow. I grow mine in three terracotta pots on the lounge window sill. Its jewel-like colours brighten up a rainy day (like today!). All it asks for is regular water, and it just keeps giving and giving throughout the summer months. In fact, it is sometimes hard to keep up with it!!
Needless to say, I grow it organically, without any nasties, and it’s a great way to top up your quota of daily greens.
Just a word of warning, however, to anyone who suffers with any sensitivities: they have been known to cause a slight tingling in the mouth in some people, so go slowly when you first try them!!