Recipes: Two ways with nasturtiums

Cocktail-making legend and culinary creative Ryan Chetiyawardana (Mr Lyan) knows his nasturtiums – try his drink / dine combo for a taste of spring

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Garden Paloma • makes 1

The peppery notes of nasturtium leaves are best enjoyed fresh – shake them extra hard to make sure they release all of their green vibrancy into this refreshing cocktail. Their crisp bite and flavour marries beautifully with the tequila’s spice.

  • 35ml reposado tequila

  • pinch salt

  • 1 drop orange blossom

  • chilled champagne, to top

  • 6 small nasturtium leaves

  • 1 tbsp wildflower honey

  • 20ml pink grapefruit juice

  • 10ml lime juice

Add all the ingredients (except the champagne) to a shaker. Add ice. Shake very hard. Then double strain into a chilled flute.

Top with champagne and garnish with a nasturtium flower.


Courgette with nasturtium pesto • serves 2

A beautifully green dish ideal for a light lunch or starter. Give it a rich and vibrant twist with a generous topping of ricotta and pomegranate.

Take a few small courgettes and quarter lengthways into thick batons. Set a pan over a medium heat, add a splash of vegetable oil. Toss the courgettes in the hot oil, then sprinkle with salt, cumin and coriander seeds. Transfer to a baking tray and roast in a hot oven until golden – this might take around 15 minutes.

In the meantime, add a handful of nasturtium leaves to a blender with a thumb of Parmesan, 6 walnuts, a clove of garlic, a tablespoon of capers, a few mint leaves, a splash of cider vinegar, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Blitz until you have a loose pesto.

Drop your roasted courgettes into a bowl and coat in the nasturtium pesto. Serve on two plates and dot with spoonfuls of ricotta and a sprinkle of fresh pomegranate seeds.

Ryan Chetiyawardana is the author of two books, including Drink & Feast with Mr Lyan & Friends; visit his eco-driven restaurant Cub and botanics-inspired bar Dandelyan, both in London;

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