Nasturtiums have peppery, saucer-shaped leaves and bright, trumpet-shaped edible flowers. We take them for granted because they pop up on every street, but they're currently having a ''moment'', as chefs use them as wraps, with raw fish dishes, and in delicately composed salads. Vietnamese rice paper lets the flowers shine through like happy little faces. These are vego, but tuck in prawns or leftover roast chicken if you prefer.
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
half mild red chilli, cut into matchsticks
half cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp rice vinegar
50g dried rice vermicelli
12 x 20cm rice paper rounds (banh trang)
12 nasturtium leaves, unsprayed
24 nasturtium flowers, unsprayed
a few green lettuce leaves, torn
2 spring onions, cut into matchsticks
handful of mint leaves
handful of Asian basil leaves
nuoc cham or sweet chilli sauce, for dipping
1. Toss the carrot, chilli and cucumber in the sugar, salt and vinegar and set aside.
2. Pour boiling water over the vermicelli in a heatproof bowl and leave for 10 minutes or until soft. Drain well and toss with the carrot, chilli and cucumber.
3. To assemble, dip one rice paper round into a shallow bowl of hot water for 5 seconds, and place on a clean bench.
4. Place two nasturtium flowers face-down on the lower third of the rice paper. Top with a nasturtium leaf, lettuce leaf, some noodles and carrot, chilli and cucumber, spring onions, mint and Asian basil. Roll up tightly, tucking in the ends, and serve with nuoc cham or a dipping sauce of sweet chilli sauce and rice vinegar, and extra lettuce leaves for wrapping.
Nasturtiums are available from Darling Mills Farm, contact darlingmillsfarm.com.au for details on farmers markets.