Pickled Nasturtium Seeds

Pickled Nasturtium Seeds

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I know what you’re probably thinking… can my recipes get any more obscure? First loquats, and now Pickled Nasturtium Seeds! It might sound crazy, but believe me, they taste great!

Pickled Nasturtium Seeds are often referred to as “The Poor Man’s Capers.” But what exactly are capers? Capers are the buds of the plant “Capparis Spinosa.” But capers are not seeds. In fact, capers are unopened flower buds that are picked before maturing. The buds are then dried and brined. If you are a fan of capers, you just might like Pickled Nasturtium Seeds even more!

capers plant in bloom
Capparis Spinosa or a Caper plant in bloom. Notice the unopened buds that are used to make capers.
capers in a bowl
pickled nasturtium seeds
Nasturtium seeds used to make mock capers

Nasturtiums, the Edible Flowers

I still remember the first time I learned that you can eat Nasturtium flowers. It was many years ago, while my mother-in-law, Marlene, was visiting us for the Summer from Arizona.

Marlene mentioned that nasturtium flowers were edible and that a good way to consume them was in salads. I tasted them at the time but wasn’t crazy about their peppery taste. I decided to enjoy their beauty instead.

Since then, I’ve learned that not only are the flowers edible, but practically the entire plant. This includes the leaves and seed pods. I’ve decided to go ahead and create a few nasturtium recipes in honor of my mother-in-law, God rest her soul. Besides making Pickled Nasturtium Seeds, I’ll also be posting a recipe for Nasturtium-Flavored Vinegar.

pool with plants around it.

Nasturtium Uses and Recipes

So far I’ve mentioned a few ways that nasturtiums are consumed. Below you’ll find a more comprehensive list.

  • The flowers can be eaten in salads.
  • Seeds can be pickled, similar to capers.
  • Nasturtium leaves can be used in place of basil, to make pesto.
  • The larger leaves can be used instead of grape leaves to make dolma.
  • Nasturtium flowers can be used to make jam and flavored vinegar.
  • Flowers can also be stuffed with cream cheese or other spreads.
  • Finally, the flowers are perfect for decorating a cake.
nasturtium flowers on a cheese cake

Using Pickled Nasturtium Seeds in Recipes

As mentioned, Pickled Nasturtium Seeds can be used as an alternative to Capers in most recipes. Here are some ideas:

  • Instead of capers, why not use the pickled seeds for Bagels and Lox?
  • Add seeds in creamy pasta dishes.
  • Use pickled nasturtium seeds as a topping for deviled eggs.
  • Add a handful of capers in with chickpeas when making hummus.
  • Use in green salads, for texture and a little spice.
  • Add to potato salad, the flavors are like a marriage made in heaven.

My Pickled Nasturtium Seeds Recipe

Pickling nasturtium seeds couldn’t be easier! Have ten minutes to spare? Just follow these simple steps.

Pickled Nasturtium Directions

  • Pick pods from the nasturtium plants in Spring or Summer.
close up of a nasturtium plant
  • Place in a bowl of cold water and swirl around to remove the dirt. The dried stems and flower parts will float to the surface.
nasturtium seeds in water bath
  • Add clean pods to an 8 oz pickling jar.
nasturtium pods in canning jar
  • Fill a small saucepan with water, vinegar, salt, and sugar, bring to a boil. Add a few sprigs of fresh dill in the jar, then pour pickling solution over the pods.
pickled nasturtium seeds
  • Seal and place in a dark, cool, spot. Allow to pickle for at least one to two weeks. Store in the refrigerator after that.
nasturtiums pickled

You may also enjoy these posts: Foraging for Food, Spruce Tips Pesto, Purslane Dip, Pickled Green Tomatoes, and Loquat Fruit Salsa.

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pickled nasturtium seeds
5 from 5 votes
a jar of nasturtium seeds being pickled
Pickled Nasturtium Seeds
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Pickling Time
14 d
Total Time
14 d 35 mins

Why buy capers, when you can make these yummy Pickled Nasturtium Seeds instead?

Course: Condiments, Other
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 jar
Calories: 2 kcal
Author: Hilda Sterner
  • 1 cup nasturtium pods/seeds
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 T. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 sprigs fresh dill
  1. Pick nasturtiums and wash to remove dirt.

  2. Place nasturtium seeds in an 8 oz jar.

  3. Fill a small saucepan with water, vinegar, salt, and sugar, bring to a boil.

  4. Add a few sprigs of fresh dill in the jar, then pour pickling solution over the pods.

  5. Seal and place in a dark, cool, spot. Allow to pickle for a few weeks before using.

Recipe Notes

If you think you might find the flavor too strong, brine the seeds in a mixture of two cups water and 1/4 cup salt for 3 to 5 days. Then rinse the seeds and continue with the recipe steps. The extra brining time mellows out the flavor, but I personally prefer the strong flavor.

Nutrition Facts
Pickled Nasturtium Seeds
Amount Per Serving (1 T.)
Calories 2
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

4 thoughts on “Pickled Nasturtium Seeds”

  • 5 stars
    Hilda dear 🙂 I so love edible flowers and made some jams using Nasturtium flowers but never made anything with seeds … I grow these beauties on my balcony and will definitely do this one ! Pinned to Flower recipes ! :-)Thank you so very much !

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