Posts Tagged With: recipes

Tuesday is Herb Day – NASTURTIUMS!

Do you like nasturtiums? I LOVE nasturtiums. They are one of my favourite plants. I love the way they grow all over things and the way their flowers are so bright and colorful. I love the peppery taste of the leaves and flowers, and that you can eat every part of the plant. I love the fact that they have such an unlikely-seeming botanical name… NOT Nasturtium officinale as any sensible person might think, but Tropaeoleum majus (N. officinale is actually watercress! Go figure. But at least I can remember it).

I planted quite a lot of nasturtium seeds in one of my garden beds a few months ago, not expecting them to do much as it’s in an area that gets almost no sun in the dark half of the year. Naturally, every single one germinated and the bed is now a riot of nasturtium leaves, some almost the size of plates (although no flowers have appeared as yet). They are so rampant they are even overshadowing my horseradish and I needed to do something to cut them back a bit. But there’s only so many leaves that I can put in a salad… Salads which I am pretty much the only person in the household to eat… And then I came across a solution: nasturtium pesto


I made a few alterations to the original recipe (I didn’t have any walnuts), and I can vouch for its deliciousness. So here’s my take on it:

Nasturtium Pesto
2 cups (tightly packed) freshly washed nasturtium leaves
2 cloves garlic
1.5 cups (NOT packed) coarsely grated pecorino cheese (or Parmesan)
Olive oil
Salt, to taste

Place the first three ingredients in a food processor and blitz together. Add olive oil in a stream and keep blending until you have a smooth-ish paste – I didn’t really measure but I imagine I used at least half a cup. Taste and add salt if you like. Scrape into a clean jar and cover with a layer of oil to help keep it fresh. Cap tightly and store in the fridge. Or, fill an ice cube tray & freeze, popping the little blocks out into a freezer bag for longer storage.

Let me know if you try it, or if you have any other unusual pesto recipes, or if you love nasturtiums too!

Bright blessings,


Categories: herb day | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Nearly Samhain

It’s not long until Southern Hemisphere Samhain which will be on April 30. So I’m thinking about things to do with pumpkins, especially since I have these beauties sitting on my kitchen table.

The yellow one is my last spaghetti squash from the garden, and the other two were kindly acquired for me by Cath when she went on a trip to an heirloom pumpkin farmer (wouldn’t that be a fun job) in Bacchus Marsh. For no clear reason I seem able to grow squash and zucchini, but not pumpkins?? Oh well, I’ll try again next year.

But lots of people manage to grow pumpkins even if I can’t! And it’s the perfect time if year to do yummy things with them. One of my favourites is this recipe for Pumpkin Jam, from Sally Wise’s book A Year in a Bottle – a really handy book for anyone who likes making their own preserves, I highly recommend it!

Pumpkin Jam
1kg diced deep orange pumpkin
Zest & juice of 2 lemons
1kg sugar

Cook pumpkin in a little water until very soft. Drain, then mash until smooth. Add the lemon zest and juice and sugar. Bring to the boil slowly, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook for 20 minutes or until thick.

Spoon into sterilised jars and cap tightly. Store in the fridge once opened. Makes about 1.5kg.

There’s no pectin in pumpkins obviously, so it’s not exactly a jammy texture, but it spreads very nicely and us great on toast or with scones and cream (and a pot of tea, of course).

Blessings )O(

Categories: The Wheel | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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