I love nasturtiums. They are among some of the prettiest flowers. I've grown them before; usually the jewel mix, but I like the Alaska mix too - the foliage for those is mottled with white. This year however, I found a pack of mahogany nasturtium seeds. Oh - I wanted to grow those. I've made nasturtium vinegar with the other varieties, and I liked the reddish orange color it turned out, but I could just picture the lovely red that would most likely result from using the mahogany flowers.
They are absolutely gorgeous, don't you think?
To make the vinegar, you'll want to cut off a bunch of the flowers, but beware, bees and other stinging things love nasturtium as much as you do. I received a very painful reminder of this as I was picking. And once I had them inside and was giving them a rinse, I discovered another little stinging critter, this time a bumble bee, in among the flower heads. I took the whole bowl back outside to coax him out of there. I don't use chemicals on my garden, but I rinse off the flowers just to make sure there aren't any creepy crawlies in there.
Once you've divested the flowers of all of their little hitch-hikers, put them in a quart jar and pour in enough white vinegar to cover them. You'll have to push them down, as they like to float. You could use white wine vinegar if you like.
Let it sit for about a week and then strain off the flowers. I lined a small, fine mesh strainer with several layers of cheesecloth and set it directly on top of a wide mouth pint jar.
Warning - it smells pretty yucky when you first take off the lid, but once the spent flowers are out it will be fine.
There you go. It did turn out a beautiful color, and I can't wait to use it in a vinaigrette.
Another reason to love nasturtiums - they taste peppery, and I like pepper.
I've linked this post with the Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest.
I've also linked with the Homestead Barn Hop,
and the Backyard Farming Connection.
There are plenty of great ideas and useful information being shared through these blog hops. I hope you get a chance to check some of them out.