Glasgow chef’s blooming good idea


A Glasgow chef is spearheading a campaign to bring a traditional summertime ingredient back to Scotland’s plates.

Nick Rietz, chef and owner at Bilson Eleven, is including nasturtium flowers on his menu over the summer and has encouraged other chefs to do likewise.

Rietz said the plants, grown in the restaurant’s kitchen, will help to minimise food miles and improve health (they are said to contain vitamin C) as well as being versatile enough to work well in several different dishes.

“Provenance is crucial all year round, but even more so in the summertime when we have an abundance of fantastic ingredients right on our doorstep,” said Rietz.

“We’ve worked nasturtiums into our cured Loch Etive sea trout dish, using the stems for the sauce and the leaves as a garnish. The flowers will start to appear soon and when the time comes, we’ll use those too.

“Nasturtiums are becoming less and less visible in restaurants across Scotland, and I’d like to see that change by encouraging more chefs to give these wee wild flowers the appreciation they deserve. They’re so easy to use: you can throw a few leaves into a salad as you would rocket to give it a kick, or pickle the buds in vinegar and use them as a substitute for capers.”