Nasturtium Capers Recipe

You can pickle young nasturtium seedpods and use them as capers in recipes.

Winter 2016-2017

  • Green pods are perfect for transforming into these spicy nasturtium capers.
    Photo by Flickr Commons/John Hritz

Total Hands-On Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Yield: 1/2 cup capers

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.

Subscribe today

Heirloom GardenerCultivate your love of historic plant varieties and traditional recipes with a subscription to Heirloom Gardener magazine today!

Don’t miss a single issue of Heirloom Gardener. Published by the editors of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Heirloom Gardener provides decades of organic gardening experience from the most trusted voices in the field. Subscribe today and save as much as 38% off the newsstand price! Get one year (4 issues) for only $24.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube

click me