Flanking the back gates of the kitchen garden, I have large patches of nasturtium. They didn’t start out that way, and I’m partially to blame. Some plants have decided to happily re-seed themselves, while others I’ve planted anew. Admittedly, I’m not immune to falling prey to the allure of the seed racks at the garden center! There are so many enticing varieties to choose from, promising a cheerful mix of a rainbow of colors, stunning foliage combinations, and different growing habits, that it makes it very difficult not to try out something different. With moderate sunlight, the easy to grow plants, quickly form a colorful, whimsical ground cover.
In addition to their spectacular good looks, they’re delicious. Nasturtium blossoms have a light peppery taste, similar to watercress. Tossed with sweeter greens, like butterhead lettuce, they add a refreshing, spicy bite. A homegrown salad at Connecticut Country House would not be complete without a finishing garnish of a handful of brilliant blooms.