These lovely orange flowers have become a not uncommon sight in salads, in part because they're a beautiful contrast to lettuces and in part because they're delicious -- a little sweet and peppery. They're Nasturtium flowers, and they grow freely in gardens and in uncultivated places, bringing color and liveliness as they climb the sides of buildings, fences, slopes and in many spots at LA Green Grounds. But many people don't know that the rest of the plant is edible, too. The stems and leaves can go in a stir-fry, and the seed pods can be pickled like capers or tossed into salads. LA Green Grounds volunteer Kat shows various ways she cooked the plant in these pictures.
The Nasturtium plant's botanical name is Tropaeolum majus, and it is closely related to vegetables in Brassicacea (mustard family), such as mustard greens, broccoli, cauliflower and collard greens.
Article contributed by Kat. Edited by Mary MacVean.