Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Nasturtium Salad - Pretty Delicious

Nasturtium, which is Latin for "nose-twister,” is a very common, very colorful ground cover that, as you’ll see in today’s video recipe clip, is a great addition to a green salad. By the way, I got the "nose-twister” translation from Wikipedia, but it didn’t say why or how it got that name. So, all you gardeners out there, if you know PLEASE tell me why, it’s driving me crazy. Speaking of crazy, no, you don’t have to be crazy to put flowers on a salad. As long as they are there for flavor AND color you are culinarily correct to do so. It’s hard to think of another flower whose petals are as intensely colored as the Nasturtium. It actually makes filming and photographing them quite a challenge (at least that’s my excuse).

Culinary students are always reminded by their Chefs to never add things to plates solely for cosmetic reasons. Ideally, everything on a plate should add both flavor and visual appeal to the dish. Nasturtium petals meet both goals; they’re incredibly beautiful as I have already stated, AND have a subtle, delicious flavor. It’s a slightly peppery taste similar to a mild Watercress. Many grocery stores have these flowers in the herb section during the summer and you can always find them at any farmers market.

By the way, since we are talking salads in today’s post, in my next recipe clip I’m going to show you what I consider to be the best “all purpose” oil and vinegar-style salad dressing. It’s a simple Sherry vinaigrette I leaned ages ago, and it’s my all-time favorite, and soon, maybe yours. Stay tuned. Anyway, take a walk around the backyard, or the neighbor’s garden, and find some Nasturtium (it shouldn’t be too hard) and make that plain old mixed green salad explode with color and flavor. Enjoy!

14 comments:

foofifofum said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chef John said...

Looks like Youtube is having some tech gliches today. If the clips doesnt work, please try back later. Thanks!

Chef John said...

Still waiting on YT! I've uploaded a second verison just in case, but nothing so far. Please check back later. Thanks.

foofifofum said...

Nice video - worth the wait, and little bugs - you are so funny.

Anonymous said...

Wow is there anything you can't do?!

mavictoria said...

you're simply brilliant, Chef!

Birder said...

First off, John, I must say kudos and EXCELLENT work on this whole site of yours. I've been enjoying it for a while now and haven't until now expressed my appreciation of it.

Second thing is with regards to this whole flower-eating thing. I'm trying to wrap my head around this concept: it seems unappetizing and just all too weird to me! And this surprises me, because I'm not normally the kind of person to be this way. (I'm adventurous and will usually eat anything shoved under my nose or at least try it once before dismissing).

Just wondering if this is normal, if anyone else feels this way, and if so, what's the best way to change this mindset?

Anywho, great work once again Chef John. I can't wait for that vinaigrette recipe you were talking about!

kristofer said...

Yeah I've been having probs with YouTube as well, but it only seems like it was .AVI files that weren't working for me... and flowers are great, it's been quite a while since I've had some nice edible flowers but they do add to any salad.. and before I even started reading I thought of watercress, as you mention later the flavor is similar... just add a little extra virgin olive oil, a dash or three of balsamic vinegar, and some nice bleu cheese crumbles and I'd be happy!

Anonymous said...

Birder, to get over your fear of eating flowers you may want to considered hypnosis.

Julie said...

That salad really looks beautiful Chef John

Chef John said...

Thanks, to all. Hey Birder, what if you were color blind? You would even know you were eating flower petals, they would just be another couple leaves in the salad. It's a flower petal in the garden, once it gets to the kitchen it's just part of a salad. Did that help?

Anonymous said...

I'm a little behind in reading the earlier recipes but I still want to comment on the Nasturtium thing. I love the idea of using the flowers. I have never eaten them but I grew up eating the leaves from my mom's flower garden. I still love them. They are really peppery and would probably be a good addition to the other greens in a salad.

Anonymous said...

No one has answered your pressing question as to the name "nasturtium" and its meaning... While I am certainly not an expert and have no proof to back up my ideas, I think that the reason nasturtium got its name is because of its peppery qualities. Pepper makes people sneeze, and one's nose certainly gets twisted sneezing... I think that this is a very sound theory (only because it is the only theory presented, thus far!).

Chef John said...

sounds logical to me!