Sweet Potato Salad with Nasturtium Pesto Recipe
This sweet potato salad with nasturtium pesto recipe is a delicious hearty salad that utilizes a common garden plant. The entire nasturtium plant is edible, include the leaves, stems, flowers, and pods. Nasturtiums have a peppery flavor that resembles arugula.
When my friend farmer Sash suggested I make nasturtium pesto for my cooking class at her farm, I was delighted. I’d only known the plant for its edible flowers, but had never used the leaves and stems. It turns out it couldn’t be easier! I gave the leaves a quick blanch and shock in ice water, squeezed out extra moisture, and they were ready to use! I like to make this nasturtium pesto recipe by finely chopping with a knife, instead of in the food processor, because I think the larger pieces of pepitas lend a nice texture to the finished dish.
Sweet Potato Salad with Nasturtium Pesto
- 1½ pounds sweet potatoes
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ cups nasturtium leaves with stems
- 1/2 cup toasted pepitas
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 oz. goat cheese
- Pepitas for Garnish and Nasturtium Flowers for Garnish
- Peel and cut sweet potatoes into ½” cubes. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sweet potatoes and salt and cook until sweet potatoes are soft, turning occasionally, about 15-20 minutes. Pour cooked sweet potatoes into a bowl.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil; prepare an ice-water bath and set aside. Add nasturtiums to boiling water; cook for 10 seconds. Transfer to an ice-water bath until cool. Drain and set aside. When cool, squeeze as much water from the nasturtium leaves as you can.
- Place blanched squeezed nasturtium, pepitas, and garlic in a pile on a large cutting board. Run a sharp knife back and forth through the pile until finely chopped. Place in a small bowl, fold in cheese, and add olive oil.
- Add finished pesto to cooked sweet potatoes in a bowl and stir to combine. Garnish with goat cheese, pepitas, and nasturtium flowers if desired (they are edible too!)