Nasturtium Pod Pickles: Poor Man's Capers.

We have an unruly field of nasturtiums growing in our back yard. When the warm weather hits and the flowers start to drop you'll start seeing the pods appear. They're time consuming to pick but they make the most delicious pickles! They're like a caper only more peppery. 

Luckily the pod growing time usually coincides with the spring school holidays. So I make the kids and their friends pick them before I take them to the pool!

I use these in any recipes that call for capers. They're really good in pastas, salads and in tartare sauce!

Recipe by Alex Elliott-Howery


  • 1-2 cups of nasturtium seeds or pods
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups apple cider or white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar
  • water


Once you've picked your nasturtium pods, pick out any leaves or flowers, then give the sees a good rinse in cold water to remove any dirt.

In a bowl or jar, put 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Whisk to dissolve. Add in the pods and allow to sit overnight in the salt brine. This will draw out any bitterness. I leave mine out on the bench top, unless it's really hot. The next day, strain and rinse.

In a small saucepan add 2 cups of vinegar, 3/4 cup of water and 1/3 cup of sugar. Dissolve the sugar over low heat and bring to simmering point. 

In a clean jar, put the nasturtium pods and completely cover with the hot vinegar brine. Seal and allow to cool. Once completely cool, store in the fridge for up to 12 months.

If you have any excess brine left over, you can use it to make a quick-pickle. Thinly slice 1 cup of vegetables and cover with the vinegar brine. You can add in some chilli flakes, fennel seeds and peppercorns. Store in a sealed container or jar in the fridge. They will last for up to 3 weeks.