This delightfully hot and peppery nasturtium pesto is made using both the leaves and flowers of this fabulous edible summer flower. This is a great pesto for livening things up a bit, from sandwiches to BBQ and in my favourite baked potato!
I love nasturtiums and plant them every year. Their colourful petals are so bright and sunny against all the greenery of my herbs and the white of the giant daisies that are prolific in my garden.
Keen readers of this blog will be well aware of how I like to use anything that is growing in the garden in as many ways as possible. Nasturtiums have already been used to make my delicious nasturtium soup and also my favourite nasturtium hot sauce. This time I’m making Nasturtium Pesto.
Nasturtiums originate in South America. There are over 80 species of nasturtiums. They are sometimes called nasturtians, though their botanical name is Tropaeolum.
The flowers can be yellow, either pale or golden. Bright vibrant orange or deep crimson red.
Nasturtiums are super easy to grow as long as you don’t make the mistake of using good compost. Do this and you’ll get an amazing display of huge leaves but few flowers. I know this from bitter experience (and a lot of pesto!). Plant them in rough soil and they will give a good display of flowers all through the summer.
Both leaves and flowers are edible and are used in teas, salads and sauces.
Ingredients for nasturtium pesto
You will need nasturtium flowers and leaves for this. I know some people just use the leaves but the flowers are lovely and peppery too and give little flecks of colour to your nasturtium pesto so use them too.
flaked almonds for the nutty part, I love the light flavour of almonds for this one they have a lighter flavour than pine nuts
1 clove of garlic
parmesan cheese grated
salt and pepper and of course good quality extra virgin olive oil.
The complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making this recipe can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to make nasturtium pesto
You can go the old fashioned traditional route and grind everything in a pestle and mortar. Although this takes time it really is rather relaxing and you really get to smell the garlic and nasturtiums as they are crushed together with the other ingredients.
Otherwise, whip out your food processor and whizz things up.
But firstly toast those flaked almonds in a dry pan till just golden then remove from heat immediately and allow to cool.
Now you can whizz up the nasturtium flowers and leaves, garlic, almonds and parmesan.
Season the mix then drizzle in the olive oil till you get the consistency you prefer.
I like to make thick pestos if I’m going to be using the pesto as a dip or for spreading in sandwiches or dolloping into soup.
Add more oil if you want a thinner consistency pesto to use as a sauce for pasta.
How to serve nasturtium pesto
I love this pesto inside a baked potato. The pepperiness is perfect with the creaminess of the potato and adds such a punch of flavour.
Nasturtium pesto is also great for livening up burgers and sandwiches. Think of this as the pesto equivalent of Tabasco!
How long will nasturtium pesto keep
It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks in a sealed jar. Just make sure the top of the pesto is covered with a little oil to keep that gorgeously vibrant green colour.
Can you freeze pesto?
Yes you certainly can. Just spoon it into a labelled freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. You can also freeze this pesto in an ice cube tray then pop out the cubes of pesto and freeze them in a bag. This way you have perfect little portions of pesto to add to soups etc whenever you fancy it.
My book – A Passion For Pesto
I love pesto and have even written an Ebook about it. A Passion For Pesto contains lots of valuable information on pest itself plus over 75 recipes for making pesto from everything from herbs to vegetables and even weeds too.
I’ve also included recipes for sweet pestos made from fruits and berries perfect for desserts. Plus there are lots of fun recipes for cooking with pesto.
Looking for more fun and easy pesto recipes? Then check these out before you go;
Apple celery and coriander pesto
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
- 1/2 cup flaked almonds
- 1 cup nasturtium flowers
- 1 cup nasturtium leaves
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 cup parmesan grated
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Toast the flaked almonds in dry pan for 1 minute till golden and aromatic then remove from pan immediately and allow to cool
- Whazz all ingredients in food processor drizzling in the oil till you have the consistancy you prefer
David is says
Could you use the seed heads as well always found them to have the strongest peppery taste.
Karon Grieve says
Yes you could. I keep the seed heads to pickle them instead. I use the rest for my pesto.
I tried it and it was yummy, my husband is a convert as he was initially unsure
Karon Grieve says
Glad you liked the recipe so much
I just tried this as I was inspired by your photos. It was delicious. I added some lime juice and some grated cheddar for a baked potato topping.
Karon Grieve says
Glad you like my nasturtium pesto so much. Like your addition of the grated cheddar and lime in that baked potato.