Executive Chef Steven D. Greene
“I appreciate the balance of peppery flavor,” Chef Steven at The Umstead Hotel and Spa says, “alongside its taste of bitter green. Nasturtium leaves are so versatile, serving as a nice finishing touch for so many dishes. Plus, it offers up an organic look that adds a touch of nature when used as a garnish.”
More specifically, he uses nasturtium leaves in the role of lettuce in a canape with beef tartare and brioche toast. Plus, it adds a really nice vegetable flavor, he says, in a dish like the one pictured below with scallops, kohlrabi, horseradish, buttermilk—and, of course, nasturtium leaves.
Regional Executive Chef Austin Adler
At Maple & Ash, Chef Austin starts with beautiful prawns from Santa Barbara, roasting them on a wood fire. He then envelops them in yuzu beurre blanc with smoked trout roe, folding in nasturtium leaves. Their peppery flavor, he shares, goes well with the sweetness and saltiness of the dish.
Executive Chef Eric Leveillee
Eric appreciates how, unlike many garnishes, nasturtium leaves come with a distinctive peppery-veggie quality that allows the edible leaves to be a component of the dish instead of just part of its appearance.
At Foster Supply Hospitality and its restaurant, The DeBruce, he steams or sautés large nasturtium leaves to bring out the flavor, noting how it “changes the texture in unexpected ways.” He then fills them with king crab for a beautifully simple and delicious dish that truly brings out the flavor of the individual ingredients.
Chef Kevin Andersen
As the managing partner of Ember & Oak, Chef Kevin appreciates the peppery and vegetable aspects of nasturtium leaves to complement raw and lightly cooked seafood dishes. Plus, he says, “the flower petals are used as a substitute for radish,” adding that, “we need that flavor profile.”
The dish featured below is the Whiskey Aged Brisket, containing nasturtium salsa verde, boiled peanut and mint relish, smoked potato and celery root, and pickled mustard seed.
Choices of Nasturtium Leaves
The Chef’s Garden regeneratively grows farm-fresh nasturtium leaves, including:
Traditional nasturtium leaves
Variegated nasturtium leaves
Mixed nasturtium leaves
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