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Poor Man's Capers Recipe

~ Poor Man's Capers / Pickled Nasturtium pods recipe ~
 
It is the time!! The Nasturtiums are in full flower and there are many ripe seedheads ready for the picking. I love to pickle these which dramatically mellows out the flavor and makes a 'poor mans' caper substitute. These will last a year or two in the jar, make great gifts and are always a delight to serve on the sides of salads.
 
I've used many variations of recipes, I'm a freestyle preserver, using whatever I have on hand and adding my own homegrown or foraged flavors. Here is a simple process & recipe to try at home:
 
~ Collect the ripe green seed pods directly off the plant (before they become hard & dry and fall on the ground).
~ Test by tasting, if they are crunchy & juicy they're perfect, if they are dry and hard they are too old.
~ Rinse if needed & pack into sterilised glass jars.
~ Make a pickling liquid, to 1 cup of nasturtium seeds use: 1 cup cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp peppercorns,1 clove smashed garlic.
~ Bring this mix to the boil in a pot and then leave to cool down.
~ Once cool, add 2 sprigs fresh dill or any herbs of choice
~ I often add bay leaves fennel fronds, grape leaves, mustard seeds, onion weed etc depending what's pumping in the garden...
~ cover the capers in the jar with the liquid & herbs
 
I usually leave a month for flavors to mellow & develop before tasting. Keep in the fridge once opened and use as you would any flavorsome foraged pickle!
 
Scroll the articles on my website to read all about Nasturtium, it's nutritional properties, how to prepare, & history. Nasturtium also features in my Hot Season Foraging Guide.