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Petal to plate: Why we love edible flowers

At CoLab Farms, we LOVE to grow edible flowers! Not only are the flowers beautiful to look at, they make our farms and greenhouses smell AMAZING. Although most home cooks are unfamiliar with using edible flowers in their cooking, edible flowers can be extremely versatile. They can adorn beautifully baked cakes, add a punch to the right cocktail, or give a pop of color and flavor to salads. Right now, we’re harvesting Purple Hyacinth, Butterfly Pea and Nasturtium flowers. Continue reading below for our favorite ways to use Nasturtium.

Nasturtium growing in our Aeroponics tower

Our Favorite Nasturtium Recipes

We love growing Nasturtium because both their leaves and flowers are edible. They’re a great source of Vitamin C and iron, and their leaves are said to have antibiotic properties. They’re beautiful, but there can definitely be some intimidation when it comes to including them in recipes. Here’s three simple ways to use Nasturtium:

Nasturtium Pesto: Blanch the nasturtium leaves and place in a blender with your favorite nut (we like walnuts), and garlic. Blend while drizzling in extra virgin olive oil until smooth. Fold in some grated parmesean cheese. Use on pasta, as a pizza base or anything you’d use pesto for.

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Nasturtium Margarita: Use salt, sugar or a mixture to rim your serving glasses and add ice. In a cocktail shaker, muddle together 2oz of tequila, 1/2oz of orange liqueur and the petals from 3 or 4 nasturtium flowers. Add ice, 2 oz of orange juice, 1/2oz lime juice and 1/2oz agave nectar. Shake vigorously and pour into one of your serving glasses. Garnish with a nasturtium flower.

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Stuffed Nasturtium Flowers: Combine breadcrumbs, olive oil, crushed garlic, chopped parsley, grated parmesan, and sea salt in a bowl and lay on a baking sheet. Toast on 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine ricotta, chopped basil, sea salt and chopped walnuts. Stuff Nasturtium flowers with one tablespoon of the ricotta mixture and top with the toasted breadcrumbs. Place on a platter and enjoy! Makes 20-25.

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