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Poor Man's Capers Recipe

By Marion Owen

Pickled nasturtium buds are an inexpensive substitute for pricey capers.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 quart nasturtium seed pods
  • 1 quart white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pickling salt
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon pickling spice
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 4 to 6 peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed


After the nasturtium blossoms fall off, pick the half-ripened (still green) nasturtium seed pods. Continue picking as long as the seed crop continues.

Combine wine vinegar, pickling salt, onion, lemon, pickling spice, garlic, peppercorns, and celery seed in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Pour cooled mixture over nasturtium seeds and refrigerate for 1 week.

Keep the mixture refrigerated and use the nasturium pickles in sauces, dips, casseroles, soups, stews and as edible decorations.

Yield: 1 quart

Recipe Source: Marion Owen
Reprinted with permission.

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