Posted by David Lyon April 7, 2010 10:30 AM
Now we know it's really spring. We just came back from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (280 The Fenway, Boston, www.isgm.org), where the orange nasturtiums are tumbling from the balconies in the courtyard and chef Peter Crowley is doing some pretty nifty things with nasturtiums on the Cafe menu. The tradition of trailing nasturtiums dates to Mrs. Gardner's day, but like most blooms, they are brief. The flowers were placed on April 3, and when they give out in mid-April, they also disappear from the menu. This year Crowley is featuring a salad of scallops with upland cress and nasturtiums, and a subtle and delicious panna cotta flavored with Mount Olympus flowers (sort of like chamomile) and topped with nasturtiums and a candied kumquat. Of course, there's also all that gorgeous art. Ask at the information desk to be directed to an early 20th century painting of nasturtiums by Alexander Pope.
Museum courtyard photo courtesy of Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Panna cotta photo by David Lyon for the Boston Globe.
David Lyon is co-author of the Hungry Travelers food and travel blog, www.hungrytravelers.com.