Nasturtium seedpods must be soft and young to be pickled into capers — mature, yellowish ones are beyond culinary use. Hunt for young pods attached to stems under the foliage. This recipe is inspired by The Herbfarm Cookbook by Jerry Traunfeld and The CSA Cookbook by Linda Ly.
• 1/2 cup young, soft, green nasturtium seedpods
• 1 cup water
• 2 tablespoons salt
• 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 1 dried bay leaf
• 2 fresh 3-inch thyme sprigs
1. Place seedpods in a half-pint glass jar.
2. Bring water and salt to boil in a saucepan, and then pour over the seedpods. All seedpods must be submerged — use a weight if necessary.
3. Cover the jar and let sit at room temperature for 3 days.
4. After 3 days, drain the salted water and return the seedpods to the jar.
5. In a small saucepan, simmer the vinegar, sugar, bay leaf, and thyme.
6. When the sugar has dissolved, pour the mixture over the seedpods in the jar.
7. Let cool, replace the lid, and refrigerate for 3 days before using. Homemade nasturtium capers will store up to 6 months in the refrigerator.
Learn more about these colorful, peppery plants in the article “How to Grow Nasturtiums.”
Barbara Berst Adams is author of The New Agritourism: Hosting Community and Tourists on Your Farm. She has supplied edible nasturtiums to restaurants and writes for numerous gardening and farming publications.