My nasturtiums were some of the very few plants that did well for me this year in my garden. Perhaps the fact that I planted three packages of seeds contributed to that success. I like the slightly peppery, slightly perfume-y flavor of the flowers and will toss them in green salads or even in place of the squash blossoms in this soup. It was kind of exciting to find a recipe that actually called for them as a flavor element and I capitalized on my opportunity to try this simple salad dressing with nasturtium petals in it.
This mostly tastes like a basic vinaigrette with a ghostly hint of complexity from the flavorful petals. It would probably go best on your mildest green salad ingredients. (The late-season lettuce I ate it with was a little bitter and may have masked some of the more delicate floral flavors.) Something really mild, like sprouts, might be a tasty companion, too.
I decreased the proportion of olive oil in this recipe just because I prefer my salad dressings a little more acidic and less oily. For a more traditional vinaigrette, you could increase the oil to up to ½ cup. You could also use a different vinegar, but I would recommend something relatively mild to keep the flavors of the flowers coming through.
It’s mostly just fun and pretty and unique to put edible flowers in salads and you could use others in this dressing or in the salads you dress. Just be absolutely certain that the flowers you’re planning to eat are indeed edible. It’s also a good idea to use flowers that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides. And be sure to clean them thoroughly, too. Lots of little bugs love flowers as much as we do and you may need to swish out your flowers in a water bath to keep those critters out of your lunch or supper.
Nasturtium VinaigretteAdapted from Vegetarian Times magazine
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
¼ cup finely sliced nasturtium petals
1. Combine all the ingredients except the nasturtium petals in a small bowl. Whisk until very smooth. Stir in the nasturtium petals.
Makes about 1/3 cup salad dressing.
Other recipes like this one: Basic Vinaigrette, Honey Mustard Salad Dressing, Maple Walnut Vinaigrette, Pomegranate Molasses Vinaigrette
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