Give a man or woman a flower and they may put it in a vase, teach him or her to cook with flowers and you inspire the most gorgeous dishes imaginable. I love when it is time to start gathering greens and vegetables from my raised beds. To be able to bring something fresh out of the soil that I have grown organically and then use it to feed my family, is a beautiful thing.
This love for gardening has expanded to not just traditional vegetables, but also to edible flowers. This year I wanted to try my hand at Nasturtiums. These flowers are usually added to salads for a breathtaking pop of color, but the entire plant is edible. These beautiful specimens are actually delicious and quite peppery. Nasturtium leaves have a high concentration of Vitamin C and are also a natural antibiotic. Eating a couple of the peppery leaves at the onset of a cold can stop it dead in its tracks. The gentle antibiotic reaction makes it ideal for treating minor colds and flu. Eat one to two leaves three times a day for full benefits. They are also believed to help cure acne. If growing Nasturtiums sounds intimidating, it is not, these flowers LOVE poor soil and lots of sun. So if your yard is saturated in Alabama red clay, these beauties may be your yard’s best friend.
So far I have used Nasturtiums as decorations for soups, salads, and in ice cubes for cocktails. Always inspired to create beautiful dishes for my family, last night we enjoyed a little edible flower and greens salad to top our fish. Here is the recipe:
Seared Sea Bass With Nasturtiums And Edible Greens
1 lb sea bass (or other thick white fish aka halibut, kingfish) cut into 4 oz filets
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested
White Wine Sauce
Pan drippings from fish pan
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1/4 cup white wine
Edible Flower And Greens
2 or 3 Nasturtiums per filet (other edible flowers include violets, pansies, dahlias, roses, primrose, lavender, etc)
3 or 4 sprigs of baby basil (roots and all)
2 sprigs of spicy basil
2 or 3 leaves of tatsoi
2 or 3 Nasturtium leaves
2 or 3 watercress blossoms (arugula also has edible blossoms as do chives and garlic)
2 radish slices, curled
In a large dish, drizzle sea bass filets with extra virgin oil oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and lemon zest. Let sit 20 minutes. In a large saute pan heat 2 Tbsp olive oil on high. When it begins it sizzle, turn down to medium heat and add snapper filets. Cook for 3-4 minutes on one side or until lightly browned, then flip and cook 3-4 minutes on the other side. Repeat if necessary. If pan begins to dry out add a little more olive oil. Set filets aside and cover to keep warm.
In a saute pan on medium heat using the drippings from the seared fish, add butter until melted. Then add shallot, lemon juice, lemon zest, and white wine. Whisk together ingredients and cook stirring constantly for 4-5 minutes.
Plate each filet and drizzle each filet with white wine sauce.
Wash your edible flowers and greens and then have fun! Arrange and sprinkle as you wish to create your beautiful work of food art!
Serve alone or with a salad or side.