Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Nasturtium Leaf Pesto

If something tastes like summer, than definitely it is this simple and refreshingly green recipe. 

I love the peppery and yet, delicate, taste of nasturtium, but unfortunately this plant is rather seldom and not easy to obtain. I grow it in a flower pot, but this year my plant did not even produce flowers. Leaves, flower buds and flowers are edible and quite tasty and can be used in many raw dishes. I use the leaves in salads and also turn them into delicious pesto.

  • 1 cup nasturtium leaves, packed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • juice of 1/2 lime, add more if needed
  • 1/4 cup raw pistachio nuts
  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil (I used a very fruity one made of Nocellara, Biancolilla, and Moresca olives), add more if needed
  • tiny pinch of Celtic sea salt

  • Pulse blend all ingredients in a food processor until well combined, but still slightly chunky. Adjust the the taste to your personal liking.
  • Serve with pasta, as a salad dressing, sauce or dip. It also tastes great on sliced avocado. Enjoy!

~ Raw Kohlrabi Noodles with Nasturtium Leaf Pesto ~

  • 2 medium large kohlrabi, peeled
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • pinch of Celtic sea salt
  • 1/3 cup nasturtium leaf pesto
  • nasturtium leaves for garnish

  • Spiralize kohlrabi straight into a large mixing bowl. Add lime juice and a pinch of salt and mix gently. Allow to tenderize for a few minutes. 
  • Add nasturtium pesto to the kohlrabi noodles and using a gentle stirring motion, mix well making sure that the noodles are well coated with pesto.
  • Portion out the noodles into pasta plates, garnish with nasturtium leaves and enjoy in good company!
Recipe serves two. Double or triple the amounts if you want to entertain a bigger party.

Tip: A much nicer garnish for this dish are of course the nasturtium flowers. If you are lucky enough to get them, use them instead of the nasturtium leaves. If the peppery green taste is too much for you, you can use nasturtium and fresh basil in equal proportions. Make small batches, store in the fridge and enjoy within a week.

A word or two about the ingredients.
  • Nasturtium leaves are rich in vitamin C and chlorophyll. They also contain flavonoids, oxalate and compounds called  glucosinolates that give nasturtium a certain pungency. These compounds are believed to prevent cancer by enhancing the elimination of cancerous cells before they can cause any damage to human DNA. 
  • Limes are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids, notably hesperidin known to lower cholesterol levels in serum. They also contain limonoids that may have the capacity to fight free radicals and prevent certain cancers.
  • Raw pistachio nuts are rich in chlorophyll; vitami E, especially the gamma-tocopherol form; fatty acids, especially oleic fatty acid; B vitamins especially B6, thiamin and folate; and minerals, especially copper, iron, manganese and phosphorus. These nutritious nuts may help fight and prevent many ailments and diseases, including coronary disease, chronic inflammation and cancer.
  • Garlic contains sulfur compounds and flavonoids that work miracles in the body. They act in synergy to improve cardiovascular health; fight free radicals and prevent cancer cells from multiplying; cure bacterial, viral and fungal infections; and reduce inflammation.
  • Virgin olive oil is considered one of the healthiest culinary oils. It fights inflammation in the body and contributed to healthy levels of cholesterol in serum. It contains vitamin E and K; antioxidant compounds such as oleocanthal and oleuropein; and a unique mixture of fatty acids especially monounsaturated fats. Olive oil is a staple food in Mediterranean cuisine known for its incredible health benefits. 
  • Celtic sea salt contains trace minerals and electrolytes like magnesium. It provides electrolyte balance and helps you stay hydrated; it supports many bodily functions including the thyroid function, heart beat, blood pressure and adrenal health; it and alkalizes the body and helps balance blood sugar.
Remember that by simply increasing consumption of healthy and nutritious foods you are improving your chances for a long, disease-free life.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Dominique Allmon©2015

*Information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease. 


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