Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tender




This time of the year the cool weather seems to suit the Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) very well, they seem to improve as the fall progresses while other plants seem to decline in response to the cold nights and shorter days . It's sad really as this vigorous, late lease on life can only come to a sad end, a few degrees of frost and the Nasturtiums are reduced to a messy pulp.
Linnaeus took the name tropaeolum from the Greek tropaion (trophy), which originally refered to the tree on which were fixed the shields and helmets of the defeated. Seeing the plant growing on a post he thought that the leaves looked like shields and the flowers like helmets.
I'm borrowing the title from Nigel Slater, and in fact the subject of this post is edible. All parts of the Nasturtium can be eaten and it makes the most interesting pesto.

6 comments:

Elsie Xie said...

How nice it must be to have a plant which is pleasing to both eyes and palate. Does it have any fragrance?

Is the Wiz said...

Dear Barry, what a lovely sidelight on a favourite old stager.

Dejemonos sorprender said...

Recently I read your comment, so I went out to smell if it had fragrance .. I can tell you now that it have and is quite pleasant, medium spicy fragrance, like the taste of the plant in general .. To my taste is quite rich, interesting, different ..

Barry Parker said...

Hi Elsie,
There is a pleasant fragrance to the nasturtiums, but they taste even better. Nice spicey taste, good for Malaysian palate !

Barry Parker said...

Hi Isobel,
Yes, we can get too caught up with the rare and unusual and tend to forget the old favourites.

Barry Parker said...

Hello Ds,

I agree, the smell and taste are very flavourful... have you tried making pesto from them?