Try this interesting nasturtium pesto bread recipe from the 'Taste Buds' cookbook

A delicious pesto-infused bread that's perfect for sharing

Image for Use nasturtiums to make this easy nasturtium pesto bread recipe from the 'Taste Buds' cookbook
Photos and recipe provided by Penguin Random House.

In Canada, nasturtiums are one of the most readily available edible plants from spring to fall. Their pronounced fresh and peppery flavour is welcomed on anything from salads to pastas.

Here, newly-minted author Nikki Fotheringham encourages home cooks to use their nasturtiums to an easy-to-make pesto recipe before intertwining it with bread dough. This nasturtium pesto pull-apart bread recipe is just one example of what you'll find within her recently-released cookbook Taste Buds: A Field Guide to Cooking and Baking with Flowers.

Image for Try this interesting nasturtium pesto bread recipe from the 'Taste Buds' cookbook

"This nasturtium pesto bread is supposed to be for sharing, but you don’t have to," jokes Nikke Fotheringham in the introduction to this recipe in the Taste Buds cookbook.

Nasturtium Star Tear-and-Share Bread

Making the pesto

½ cup (125 ml) fresh basil leaves

½ cup (125 ml) nasturtium leaves and flowers, washed and dried

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

¼ cup (60 ml) grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

1 Tbsp (15 ml) pine nuts, toasted

½ cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil


Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Divide into 3 equal parts.


Making the bread

¾ cup (175 ml) whole milk

3 Tbsp (45 ml) granulated sugar 1 envelope (2¼ tsp/11 ml) active

dry yeast

2⅓ cups (575 ml) all-purpose flour

2 large eggs, separated

¼ cup (60 ml) salted butter


To make the bread, place the milk in a medium bowl and warm it in the microwave until lukewarm, about 15 seconds. Stir in the sugar and the yeast and set aside until foamy, 10–15 minutes.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the yeast mixture, flour and egg yolks on high speed until a soft, silky dough forms, about 4 minutes. Add the butter 1 Tbsp (15 ml) at a time, mixing well between each addition. The dough should be soft and silky, but not sticky.

Oil the sides of a mixing bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Place a 10 × 10-inch (25 × 25 cm) piece of parchment paper on a work surface.

Knock the dough down and divide it into 4 evenly sized pieces.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 piece of the dough into an 8-inch (20 cm) circle. Place it in the center of the parchment paper.

Coat the dough with 1 portion of the pesto, making sure you go right to the edges. Repeat the process with the next 2 dough pieces, stacking them on top of the first one. Roll the last one out and place it on top so it looks like a stack of pancakes. The last piece of dough has no pesto on it.

Turn a small glass upside down and place it in the center of the stack. Now make 4 straight, evenly spaced cuts in the dough circles, like wheel spokes, cutting all the way through the dough but taking care not to cut the dough under the glass. Make another 4 evenly spaced cuts so you have 8 pieces, and repeat so you have 16 evenly sized pieces in total, all still connected to the dough under

the glass.

Pick up one of the pieces and turn it gently twice to the right. Pick up the next piece and turn it twice to the left. Go around the circle, alternating directions, until all the pieces are twisted. Remove the glass. Your dough should resemble a 16-legged spider.

Gently pick up the parchment and place it on a baking sheet or in a Dutch oven. Leave the bread in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. You can cover it with a large plastic bag or a damp tea towel as long as they don’t touch the dough.


Baking the bread

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

Place the egg whites in a small bowl, gently beat them and then brush them over the bread.

Bake until golden brown, 15–20 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then serve warm.

Store the bread in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Serves 4-6