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Nasturtium Pesto Recipe

Perfectly Seasonal: Nasturtium Pesto

How does your garden grow? Now that the weather in California's started to warm, all of the vegetables in mine have finally started to grow! Nothing's quite large enough to pick yet, except for a few nasturtium plants, which are growing like weeds.

When life gives you nasturtium leaves, make nasturtium pesto! I used the traditional ingredients in a basil pesto, but substituted the basil with a big bowl of hand-picked nasturtiums.


See what I topped with this condiment, then make your own version of this fresh pesto.

Specialty stores often sell nasturtium leaves and blossoms, as do many farmers markets. But if you don't mind getting your hands a little dirty, I urge you to try growing this stunning cascading plant.

With a jar of peppery nasturtium pesto, I made a simply delicious pizza. It consisted of roast chicken, mozzarella, ricotta, and squash blossoms all topped with the pesto.

Nasturtium Pesto

Nasturtium Pesto

Nasturtium Pesto

Ingredients

  1. 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  2. 2 cups packed nasturtium leaves and tender stems
  3. 1 green onion, ends trimmed, sliced
  4. 1/2 cup freshly shredded pecorino cheese
  5. 7 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  6. Salt (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small skillet, over a medium low heat, toast the pine nuts until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Be sure to watch them as they can burn easily.
  2. Using a food processor, grind up the nuts finely. Add nasturtium, green onion, and cheese. Process until the mixture is smooth and thick like a paste.
  3. While the machine is running, slowly add the olive oil and process until well mixed. Taste and season with salt.

Makes about 3/4 cup.


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Join The Conversation
Nicole-Perry Nicole-Perry 5 years
Ha, so the farm that I referred to before was Love Apple (which supplies the produce to Manresa) and turns out this recipe's original source (where Sunset got the recipe) is actually from Manresa... Full circle? Now I see what they were doing with all those delicious nasturtium leaves!
Nicole-Perry Nicole-Perry 5 years
Yum! I spent a week as a trial apprentice on a farm this spring, and I swear half of what I did that week was pick nasturtium leaves... so peppery and unlike anything else. 
Anna-Monette-Roberts Anna-Monette-Roberts 5 years
How lovely! They grow like wildfire in Nor Cal!
Elka-Karl Elka-Karl 6 years
Nasturtiums have started to overtake our Australian willow tree, and this seems like a yummy way to exact revenge upon them. We use them for salads, but I'd never thought to use them in pesto. I can see how the peppery taste would really make a yummy pesto. Thanks for the inspiration!
Susannah-Chen Susannah-Chen 6 years
I have to try this. Nasturtium's so hot right now!
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