Skip to main content

Oil-Cured Fromage Blanc-Stuffed Nasturtium Leaves to Soothe the Soul


The world has gone completely mad. Seriously. It has. Between going into our third month of being sheltered in place and the civil unrest due to protests against institutionalized and rampant racism, I needed a little love last night. I walked in the door from work and grabbed Jake for an evening walk. We barely made it to the end of our driveway before I burst into tears, lamenting the world into which we were releasing our brand-new adult; R's 18th birthday was the day before.

As usual, Jake listened to me blubber, he talked, then he listened some more...and I calmed down while we walked around the neighborhood and strategized about how to talk to the boys over dinner about the state of our country. We wanted to convey that they have a voice - as well as an obligation to be agents of change and goodness - but that they can't cross the line into being wrong themselves. We asked if they knew the difference between protestors and looters. They looked at us as if we had three heads, then they succinctly defined the two. Great.

I shared a few protest stories of my own. I did live in Berkeley for five years, after all, and protesting is part of the culture at Cal! Often, I felt, that we were protesting just to protest, not because we felt particularly passionate about a cause. So, we talked to the boys about choosing their protests carefully. And we cautioned them about reading the crowds and looking for red flags if the mood were turning from peaceful to destructive and, ultimately, illegal.

Parenting is tough and emotionally draining at times. I'll leave it at that and move on to the recipe I'm sharing today.


Back in April, my friend and culinary maven Jenn Erickson of Jennuine posted photos of her nasturtium experiment to social media. Her caption - and photos - have been haunting me ever since: "The blanched leaves were filled with #chevre and cured in olive oil with lemon zest and black peppercorns overnight. We enjoyed them for brunch on garlic toast points. Absolutely blissful!! #foraging #edibleflowers #breakfast #brunch #appetizer" Her recipe appears on her blog - Goat Cheese Cigarillos with Olive-Oil Cured Nasturium Leaves. Jenn and I have been friends since college, but I don't think we ever protested together. But we did cook and eat together. Many times.

So, when she messaged me and asked if I wanted to come over and pick some elderflowers, I didn't hesitate. And, as D and I were getting ready to leave, she asked if I wanted any nasturtium flowers or leaves. Ummm...yes! We grabbed just a few and I knew I wanted to attempt my version of her cigarillos with what I had on-hand which was fromage blanc instead of chevre.

Ingredients serves 4

  • 6 to 8 nasturtium leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons nasturtium petals
  • 1/3 cups fromage blanc (feel free to substitute cream cheese or any other spreadable cheese you like)
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • lemon zest or curls
  • olive oil, as needed
  • water
  • Also needed: toasted bread for serving


Procedure

Destem your nasturium leaves. Fill a saucepan with water and heat until it is beginning to steam. Quickly plunge one leaf at a time into the water. I use tongs to hold the leaf, release it so it float flat on top, then I grab it again with the tongs and place it flat on a plate. Repeat until all of the leaves are blanched.


Place the fromage blanc, petals, and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl. Add a few grinds of salt and pepper. Then use a spoon to combine the ingredients.


Place a leaf on your workspace or cutting board. Add 1 to 2 T filling to the leaf. And roll into a tight cylinder.


Place the rolled leaves into a container and pour enough olive oil over them to be mostly submerged. Add your lemon zest or curls. Cover and refrigerate. Leave the rolls to cure overnight.

Before serving remove them from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. 


Slice the rolls in half and serve them on toasted bread. I used some homemade sourdough rye. Garnish with lemon curls and reserve the oil for another use.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Lamskoteletten op zijn oud-Hollands for #TheBookClubCookbookCC

Here we are at April's #thebookclubcookbookCC event. It's hard to believe that we only have three more months in this year-long journey to explore - and cook from -  The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors  by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.* Judy, Vicki, and their publisher,  Tarcher-Penguin ,  have provided the hosting bloggers with copies of the book plus copies to giveaway each month of the project. Woohoo. Incredibly generous. This month Sarah at  Things I Make (for Dinner)  has selected  Girl With a Pearl Earring  by Tracy Chevalier.** Click to read  Sarah's invitation . She shared the recipe for Griet's Vegetable Soup, but invited us to find inspiration in any of the pages. On the Page... While the boys were playing around the lake during our week in Tahoe earlier in the month, I stayed by the fire and finished this book in one sitting. Loved it. photo by R

Pistachio Dukkah for #HandCraftedEdibles

In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, we are sharing recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones, or things to serve at holiday parties. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule:  here . This week, we are "going nuts" and sharing all sorts of recipes with nuts. Think spiced nuts or nutty fruit cake or whatever floats your nutty boat! Here's what we're posting this week... Amy's Cooking Adventures  shared her Salted Chocolate Cashew Butter Cookaholic Wife  cooked up Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds Making Miracles  made Honey Roasted Almonds Christmas Tree Lane  posted Crockpot Spiced Nuts A Day in the Life on the Farm  wrote about the Easiest Nut Brittle in the World Sew You Think You Can Cook  prepared Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds Culinary Adventur