AuthorElaine Johnson

If you’re a gardener, you might already grow a patch of cheery nasturtiums and use the peppery flowers to add snap to salads. But did you know that the leaves—even the big, extra-spicy ones—make an excellent pesto for pasta? Like many fiery greens, they mellow when they hit heat. (But do tuck in a few raw leaves just before serving the pasta to keep things exciting.)

How to Make It

Step 1
1

In a food processor, whirl pistachios and garlic until chopped. Add the large nasturtium leaves and stems, olive oil, parmesan, and salt and pulse until coarsely puréed.

Step 2
2

Toss pesto with pasta. Just before serving, fold in the small nasturtium leaves and top with nasturtium flowers.

3

Serves 2 to 4 (Makes 4 Cups)

Ingredients

 2 tablespoons roasted salted pistachios
 1 small garlic clove
 2 cups packed large nasturtium leaves and tender stems, plus 1 cup packed small leaves, and a few nasturtium flowers
 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
 1/2 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
 Pinch kosher salt
 8 ounces dried orecchiette pasta, cooked according to package directions

Directions

Step 1
1

In a food processor, whirl pistachios and garlic until chopped. Add the large nasturtium leaves and stems, olive oil, parmesan, and salt and pulse until coarsely puréed.

Step 2
2

Toss pesto with pasta. Just before serving, fold in the small nasturtium leaves and top with nasturtium flowers.

3

Serves 2 to 4 (Makes 4 Cups)

Nasturtium Pesto Pasta