Headhouse Highlight: Yoder Heirlooms' Nasturtiums

Edible flowers. If you've ever been to a wedding reception, or a certain breed of trying-to-be-chic-but-not-really-succeeding restaurant, you've seen them. Orchids, probably. Dewy and crisp. Vain white petals, bursting open to flaunt their fuchsia insides from a corner of the plate. We spent six years working in catering, during which we saw (and ate) enough of these showy (but flavorless) blooms to make us cringe when we hear the words 'edible flower.' Turns out, though, all blossoms are not created equal. Case in point: nasturtiums. We're growing them this year (along with johnny jump ups, an edible violet), with a seedling from Longview Farms. They've yet to bloom, so when we saw these red-and-yellow nasturtiums on Matthew Yoder's table at Headhouse Square, we snatched them up for an advance screening. Nasturtium means 'nose-twister'; one bite of this crunchy, peppery flower and you'll understand why. Watercress and arugula are good flavor comparisons, and you can use the blossoms anywhere you'd use either of those greens. They're dope in salads, where they lend a shot of color and spice, or with fruit (above). We tossed them with strawberries, dried peaches, a squeeze of orange, salt, pepper and Chinese five spice for a sweet sidecar to yesterday's lunch. Today, they top our Wildflour challah french toast.

1 comment:

Gaetano said...

Adam pop over and say hi when you're there next time. I'm up on the Lombard end with Joe's coffee. Still perfecting my recipe it's getting there. I'll try and save a perfect canele for you.