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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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nasturtium Tropaeolum majus, a S. American plant, is best known as an ornamental; but the leaves of most kinds are edible and the buds and seeds may be pickled to produce a substitute for capers. The flowers are also edible and make a decorative element in salads. T. minus, the dwarf nasturtium, has similar properties.

Young nasturtium leaves taste something like watercress. (Indeed the name nasturtium is Latin for cress, and means ‘twisted nose’, with reference to the plant’s pungency. In botanical nomenclature Nasturtium is the generic name of watercress.) They should be used sparingly.