I planted a huge barrel planter by the front walk full of nasturtiums this spring thinking that it would be nice if we could eat the flowers.  But, although I like their peppery flavor, I find that the texture of the flower becomes clingy when mixed in with salad, particularly after it’s dressed.













So I am taking a page from Maybelle’s Mom, who has inspired me to think of everything as potential kimchi, and I’ve made a batch of her Pea Shoot Kimchi with a few substitutions.  I have substituted nasturtium flowers and leaves for the pea shoots, replaced half the ground Korean Pepper with paprika (I was afraid the pepper would completely overpower the flavor of the flowers), turnip for daikon (only because I had it on hand) and lime juice for amchur powder (so we’ll have to have bitters in our gin and tonics tonight).  Oh, and I added some toasted sesame seeds.

I have to say, this experiment has not been a huge success.  It has worked, but not so well that I’m planning to plant a bigger crop of nasturtiums next year so that I can make this more often. 

The kimchi flavor itself is wonderful, but the flavor of the flower is completely overwhelmed by the other tastes, and the bright colors did not survive the process so it’s not a particularly pretty condiment. 

So, a lovely and whimsical idea… and I’m glad I tried it… but if you come for lunch next week, you’ll more likely get the flowers as a layer in a creamcheese and pumpernickle sandwich.  That has, so far, been the only really wonderful use I’ve found for them.

  1. Sherry says:

    Kimchi is a wonder food (who knew?), and your creativity with it boggles the mind. Kimchi is also a metaphor for something crucially important in life, if I could only come up with what it is. You must have a full-length kimchi essay in you somewhere…

    With all due respect, I’m partial to the “open raviola” recipes from the Maybelle matrilineal. All those lovely pappardelle noodles topped with simple, creative combinations. Pasta perfect construction. Do you do pasta? or maybe kimchi goes better with Leonard whatshisname.

  2. bravo for the attempt. first, thanks for trying my recipe. it seems a little like my blah rhubarb kimchi; not terrible, but whatever. I have been reading some about white kimchi, which is basically a pickle. that might have been good with nasturcium. Or, perhaps, just dried and tossed with hot pepper. Wouldn’t it be kind of interesting to have popcorn with dried nasturcium, chili pepper?

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