Pickled nasturtium seeds are a bit unusual, but they offer a nice little pop of flavor.
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We don’t use a lot of capers around here. But when I heard about the possibility of making my own “pickled capers” from—of all things—nasturtium seeds, you know I had to try it.
Nasturtium seeds are plentiful and hey, free food!
Now, if you don’t know this about nasturtium seeds, they have a very strong peppery flavor. That, combined with the vinegar I used in my first attempt, made for a super potent end product that nobody would eat.
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Pickled nasturtium seeds
With the nasturtiums in full bloom and plenty of seed pods available, I started thinking about the idea of making nasturtium seed pickled capers again.
How could I utilize these without the overpowering flavor?
I decided to try lacto-fermentation. No vinegar required. And you know what? It worked!
The resulting “capers” have a nice, subtle flavor.
Fermenting them seems to reduce some of the bite of the seed pods and over the course of a week, the brine develops its own vinegar-like flavor without screaming, “Oh my goodness that’s a lot of vinegar!” like my last attempt.
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Poor Man's Pickled Capers
- 1/2 cup freshly harvested young green nasturtium seed pods
- 1 cup distilled water
- 2 tsp. sea salt
Wash nasturtium seeds thoroughly, remove any remaining stems, and break the seed pods apart. Place seeds in a wide mouth quarter-pint jar.
Dissolve salt in water to make brine; pour brine over nasturtium seeds to cover. Refrigerate remaining brine. Place a glass weight on top of seeds to prevent floating and to keep seeds submerged.
Use the Fermentools airlock system---it fits right onto any wide mouth jar---to prevent accidental overflows and to keep out the fruit flies. (I'm loving how easy fermenting is with this system!) After about three days, open the jar and you will likely smell a bit of a sulphur odor.
Drain seeds, cover with reserved brine, and put the airlock back in place. Allow to sit at room temperature for another three days or so, then give them the old taste test.
Water: Municipal tap water contains chlorine, which can inhibit fermentation. Use spring or distilled water instead.
Salt: Salt with iodine or anti-caking agents can inhibit fermentation. I use this.