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Seeking nettle recipes

 
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The first (of a very long season) of wild nettles are ready to harvest. It's a disgustingly healthy vegetable, and it's about time I learned to love it. Please help me.

Seeking recipes for nettles. What do you make with yours? Any family stories of someones great grandmother use to make the most awesome... with nettles and...?

I've made nettle bread before, a rye and fennel sourdough heavily ladened with shredded blanched nettles. But that's as far as I've ventured into the nettle world.

ps, although cordage is awesome, the situation with the neighbours means that I can't grow the nettles long.
 
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I love to make nettle chips. They are so amazingly delicious. I'm bad at describing tastes, but they are much yummier than kale chips. There's two different ways we've made them, frying pan and oven.


Nettle Chips in a Frying Pan:


Ingredients:

X Around 20 nettle leaves, or about 1 loose cup
X 1 Tsp butter or duck fat or coconut oil

Procedure:

Using any size skillet or pot (medium or bigger), add butter to said skillet/pot. Allow butter to melt on medium low. Carefully (so as not to sting oneself) add nettle to cooking vessel. Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes. Nettle will be dark green and crunchy. Eat IT!!!



Nettle Chips in an Oven:


Ingredients:

X About 5-6 loose cup of nettle
X 1 tbsp of butter or duck fat or coconut oil

Procedure:

Turn oven to 300 degrees (at least I think this is the temp I used--it's been half a year!). Coat a cookie tray with oil of choice. Dump nettle leaves on cookie sheet and toss them with tongs or other implements to coat them all with cooking fat. You can salt &/or season them at this point, too, or wait until they're done cooking. Place tray in oven and bake until the nettle turns crispie, about 10 minutes. Enjoy!
 
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As long as you get them young (from spring sprouting until they are no more than 10 or so inches tall), they're great just "cooked like spinach." I mean, saute some onions, add garlic and maybe tomatoes and spices, then add the chopped nettles (or other greens) and mix a bit till they're all wilted or cooked down. I like to eat this dish, any greens, with chapattis / tortillas but of course they can be eaten any old way. I'm kind of hooked on them and find that the more often I eat greens, the less I think of eating meat. It feels like something nutritionally good is happening.
 
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I love nettles! Here is one way I recently prepared them: http://albuquerqueurbanhomestead.com/2015/04/26/a-glory-of-greens-and-notes-on-turkish-greens-soup/. Once blanched, they can be used anywhere that a mild green makes culinary sense. Here's another recipe for my favorite Greens Bars: http://albuquerqueurbanhomestead.com/2015/05/18/improvisational-cooking-greens-on-the-table/
I hope that you learn to love nettles.
 
Heather Ward
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Nicole Alderman: your recipes sound wonderful. My nettles are past the eating stage, but I look forward to trying nettle chips next year.
 
author & steward
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Nettles are the most sensuous food that I ever eat... I am very sensitive to hairs on food, so the hairs on nettles excite every nerve ending in my lips, and mouth, and down my throat, and into my stomach. And that's after they have caused every nerve in my hands to tingle when I put them into the cooking pot. I peel peaches before eating, but it's hard to peel a nettle leaf.

I either boil them in water and serve with a bit of butter and salt, or I dehydrate them for making tea.

 
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Does anybody know if a blender would take the sting out of the nettles? I'd love to use them in my green smoothies. I've read that steaming them takes away the sting, but that doesn't make for a very quick smoothie and I'd prefer to use them raw. (I just have a regular blender, not a super hi-powered, expensive one). - Thank you.
 
Mother Tree
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Nettles are great in smoothies!

Mine is just an ordinary blender, too.
 
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They're okay boiled like spinach, but I seem to recall that they're a bit better with a bit of butter (that was fun to say). I don't quite saute them, but just put them in a pot with some butter and cook (with periodic stirring) until they're all the way wilted. You might need to add some salt, too.

I also like nettle tea, but be warned that it tastes very green if you use fresh nettles, though somewhat less so with dried nettles. I was originally interested in it to help with seasonal allergies, but didn't find that it worked for me. Then, I ran across this article, from which I realized that I wasn't using nearly enough nettles. Now that I've tried about equal parts fresh nettles and water, it has done a better job on the allergy symptoms. Check out the article, though - the author links to a few of her favorite nettle recipes at the end.

I also usually dry nettles for use in tea during the fall and winter. Once they are dried, however, it's really easy to add them to bread. If you grind your own flour, you can just toss some leaves into the blender with the wheat. Otherwise, I would probably either smash them up in the jar or in my hands as I added them to the dough.

Jonathan
 
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Each spring I pick tops of young nettles and make a bread with them. I have too stir-fry them and they stink like fish, but the bread taste great and hold for a week.
 
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Stinging Nettle Soup

1 pound stinging nettles
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 white onion, diced
1/4 cup basmati rice
4 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 2 teaspoons of salt. Drop in the stinging nettles, and cook 1 to 2 minutes until they soften. This will remove most of the sting. Drain in a colander, and rinse with cold water. Trim off any tough stems, then chop coarsely.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat, and stir in the onion. Cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice, chicken broth, and chopped nettles. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Puree the soup with a Blender, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
 
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Nettle lasagna, pasta etc we just find a spinach recipe and substitute steamed nettles.

My new favorite way to eat nettles: Steam lightly, toss in a a seasoning mixture, spread out and dehydrate. We use our Excalibur dehydrator.

Seasoning mixture, blended smooth in a blender:
Raw onion
Nutritional yeast
salty stuff (often the brine from my jars of home-made goat feta)
cashews
Garlic
Any other herbs I've got around, like chives

Proportions are never exactly the same but always delicious.
 
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Last year, I made some nettle cordial, which was lovely.  Everyone I gave some to gave it the thumbs up.  
I thought it tasted like sherbet (but with added vitality.)
https://craftinvaders.co.uk/stinging-nettle-cordial/
 
pollinator
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You can cook your nettles and add them to ricotta cheese filling for pasta.  With that, you can stuff shells, manicotti, lasagna, or make fresh spring ravioli - boiled or fried.  You could also stuff a savoury bread with it!  I'm going to try making some banitsa/borek (Balkan/Turkish recipe) with it this spring.  I bet it will be gorgeous.

You can make vegetable rennet from it.  You basically make a really strong tea from it (1lb fresh leaves to 2 c. water and about 1 tsp of salt).  1 cup of the tea to a gallon of milk.  You can make some lovely fresh cheeses that way.  You can freeze or can your rennet for later use.  

Nettle tea (without the salt) is a beautiful thing for late pregnancy and postpartum.  I would imagine that the nettle soup above would make a great savoury side tonic at this time, too.

And apparently, you can make wine and beer from nettle.

Happy Spring!

 
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Philip Lister wrote:Last year, I made some nettle cordial, which was lovely.  Everyone I gave some to gave it the thumbs up.  
I thought it tasted like sherbet (but with added vitality.)
https://craftinvaders.co.uk/stinging-nettle-cordial/



I like the look of that nettle "fruit leather" on the link as well....
 
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A friend and I forage for nettles every spring. I always dry mine for tea, but she makes pesto. I don't have her recipe, but I imagine it's like any other pesto, just substitute nettles for basil. Yum!
 
Rebecca Norman
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Okay, I do a unique thing with nettles. I make a bright orangey-red popcorn shake by powdering dried tomatoes, red chillies, salt, and if I have it, nutritional yeast. It's known in my friends circles as Becky's special popcorn masala.

But for variety, and because some friends don't want the spicy stuff, I make a green popcorn shake too: I powder dried nettles, dill, salt and dried chives (or garlic powder). Wow! The color is vibrant and it tastes good, though the nettles are just a neutral flavor filler and mostly provide color.
 
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I make pesto with nettles just follow any pesto recipe and you will be able to make some killer pesto pizza. I also keep pleenty of nettles around to make tea with it during the winter months. I usually mix that with fireweed flowers and leaves due to fireweed'S anti-viral properties of stimulating natural killer cells which is great with nettles due to nettles' antihistamine activity. both plants are anti-inflammatory and very healing, both are great to defeat and prevent cancers. Oh I forgot to add that I fist make ginger tea and then pour the hot ginger tea over the crushed nettles and crushed fire weed flowers and leaves. One may want to look up the anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties of fireweed on PUB med and the same for nettles on PubMed just to help enforce the knowledge base for future reference.

 
pollinator
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Mostly I dry mine for winter and allergy teas. But it's also very good with some basil in tomato soup.
 
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Hello hello! My first post in Permies, answering the Nettle Call. This Nettle Soup recepy comes from Italy:

- Some oil in your soup casserole, add potatoes in cubes, green peas previously soaked. Salt, pepper, nutmeg. Water necessary for the soup
- When ingredients are cooked, add the nettle leaves: if previously souted the taste comes out very strong!
- Let few minutes in low fire
....Delicious!
 
gardener
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Clara Membrilla wrote:Hello hello! My first post in Permies, answering the Nettle Call. This Nettle Soup recepy comes from Italy:

- Some oil in your soup casserole, add potatoes in cubes, green peas previously soaked. Salt, pepper, nutmeg. Water necessary for the soup
- When ingredients are cooked, add the nettle leaves: if previously souted the taste comes out very strong!
- Let few minutes in low fire
....Delicious!



Welcome Clara!! This soup recipe indeed sounds very delicious.
 
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Nettle and Mushroom Pie is quite nice:

1 lb nettles, rinsed
1 lb cottage cheese or fromage blanc
1 tsp lemon zest
dash of nutmeg
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated + 1/4 cup for topping
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg
1/4 feta, crumbled
1 cup onion, fine chop
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fat (veg oil or bacon fat)
1 cup fine diced  mushrooms
1/4 tsp dill
1/2 tsp thyme or 1 sprig, leafed and minced
Blind-baked pie crust
OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup walnuts pieces

Blanch the nettles in boiling water just until bright green – about 10 seconds. Drain and shock in cold water. Drain again, and squeeze out all the water. Remove any big stems, woody stems. Chop fine.
In your food processor (or combine and press through a fine sieve), combine the cheese, lemon zest, nutmeg, Parmesan and some salt and pepper. Crack in an egg, and crumble the last half of your chunk of feta. Process this until it’s smooth and silky.
Saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms in the fat. When the onions become translucent, add the dill and thyme. Turn off the heat, stir in the chopped nettles and stir in the cheese mixture. Pour this into a pie shell and top with a sprinkle of pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375° for about 45 minutes or until nicely browned and bubbling.
Let it cool off for about 10 minutes before serving.
 
Roland Maurice
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If you want to do a little fancy, nettle ravioli is really lovely. The filling is dense and very earthy.

Pasta dough
2 cups flour (or try 3 oz flour per egg)
3 eggs
pinch salt

Filling
50 g stinging nettle leaves
1 clove garlic
25g by weight of pine nuts (try other nuts!)
1 egg
salt and pepper
a little oil

Sauce
1/4 cup butter per 16 ravioli
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 Tbsp snipped fresh basil, sage, oregano, Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, and/or chives or 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Garnish
Ground black pepper
Grated parmesan

Pasta - part 1
On a board or the counter, make a mound of flour, sprinkle on the salt, create a bowl in the centre of the flour mound, crack in the eggs and start combining with your fingers. You should end up with a very dry dough, almost cracking. Cover and allow to rest for 1 hour.
Filling
Simmer all the nettles in a little water for ten minutes then drain.
Put the nettle on a strong paper towel or tea towel, fold the towel to encase the nettle, and twist to squeeze out the excess water. The nettle should be a little clump of pressed material when you're done. Chop finely.
Roughly grind the pine nuts.
In a small bowl whisk the egg. Mix in the chopped nettles, pressed garlic, pine nuts, salt and pepper.
Heat a small non-stick pan, add a little oil, and dump in the egg and nettle mixture. Cook just until the egg starts to solidify.
Set aside while rolling out the pasta.
Pasta - part 2
After the hour of rest, knead the dough for about 10 minutes before running it through the pasta machine.
Divide the dough into two balls and roll as thin as you can (1/8" or thinner) or run through the pasta machine up to the thinnest setting. If the dough is sticky when you're rolling it, there isn't enough flour, so sprinkle some on, fold, and run it through again until it becomes a nice smooth sheet.
To stuff the ravioli, lay out one sheet. Evenly space out small lumps of the filling allowing plenty of room of virgin dough to make a good seal. Brush around the filling with water.
Lay the second sheet on top, smoothing out and pressing gently to make the two sheets touch around the stuffing and seal with the help of the dampened bottom sheet (this last bit can also be done after cutting the shapes).
Cut out the ravioli in circles or squares with a knife or pasta cutter. Press out any remaining air bubbles and be OCD about pressing the edges a lot.
While bringing a large pot of salted water to a simmer, prepare the sauce.
The Sauce
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter to a froth and cook about 4-5 minutes.
Add the pressed garlic and mix to break up the garlic. Continue cooking and stirring over medium heat until the butter is lightly browned, another 2-4 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the herb(s).
The Big Finish
Reduce the heat under the boiling water and let it slow to a gentle simmer. Carefully drop in the ravioli and cook until they rise to the surface and puff up (3-4 minutes).
With a slotted spoon remove the ravioli and put directly in the sauce, covering them with the butter sauce before dropping in the next one.
Plate the ravioli, drizzle any remaining sauce on top, and garnish with fresh ground pepper and parmesan.

 
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Wonderful ideas,

I think nettles would be great “saag panir”.  In fact I have invited people over for dinner in a couple days.  I have promised saag panir, and would love to use nettles for about half the greens, but it is snowy frozen winter, and all I have is dried nettles

Does anyone have any suggestions about how to rehydrate nettles without washing all the good stuff out of them?

They don’t need to be fresh and tender, as the greens will be cooked to mush. The greens practically become the sauce…

I am thinking add the dried nettles when I add the fresh kale and spinach (and what ever frozen beet greens I might find in my freezer).  Keep adding water if needed.

If I didn’t have company coming, I would just wing it, but here’s this nice nettles thread, and I would love to learn from others’ experiments if experiments have been done.

I can post the saag panir recipe if anyone is interested, involved but very good
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Nissa Gadbois wrote:

You can make vegetable rennet from it.  You basically make a really strong tea from it (1lb fresh leaves to 2 c. water and about 1 tsp of salt).  1 cup of the tea to a gallon of milk.  You can make some lovely fresh cheeses that way.  You can freeze or can your rennet for later use.  




Any particular trick to this?  One spring  when I had plenty of milk, and plenty of nettles I tried to coagulate the milk (after culturing in the usual way) and it did not work at ALL,  just green milk.  The dog loved it, but I am reluctant to try again without some idea why it failed.

Thanks
 
George Ulrich
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Hey, I forgot about using Nettles in a medicinal herb of choice saag which is a recipe to use ghee infused with herbal Ingredients:

   2 tablespoons vegetable oil
   16-20 ounces any mixed greens, finely chopped (mustard, kale, swiss chard, spinach work well)
   ½ onion, diced
   1 inch piece of ginger, grated
   1 clove garlic, crushed
   1 tomato, diced
   1 tsp ground cumin
   1 cinnamon stick
   ¼ cup medicinal herb infused ghee
   Salt and chili powder to taste

Directions:

   In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil under medium-high heat. Once hot, saute the onions, garlic, and ginger until golden brown.  
   Add the tomatoes, cumin, and cinnamon stick; saute until soft.
   Add the greens and top with the lid. Lower the heat to medium.
   Check on your greens every 5 minutes and give them a little stir. They will slowly start to wilt, water, and turn dark green. Keep cooking them until all the water evaporates (about 15-20 minutes!)
   If you’re using a stick blender or a blender, turn the stove off and blend your greens until smooth and transfer back to pot. If you’re using a handheld potato masher, turn your stove to low heat and smash the greens while adding a teaspoon of water at a time to prevent burning.
   Turn the stove on to medium-high heat and add ¼ cup of your herbal-infused ghee. Let the ghee bubble and brown for a minute or two, then turn the stove off. Your herb of choice saag is ready to eat with hot basmati rice, makki roti (corn tortillas), or naan.
 
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We love nettles as steamed greens, in a saag paneer, in a soup, as an ingredient in a simple syrup and dried for tea. But the way I have been using them weekly is in making jun, a kombucha-like beverage made with our honey instead of sugar and where nettles provide the tannins rather than green or black tea.
 
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Great recipes here! My favorite easy thing to do is throw in a handful from my dried tea stash into soup and stew pots, often I put a handful of dried nettles and a handful of dried mint in just the last 15 minutes of simmering time to a veg and potato soup.. It was a eureka moment of realizing this was likely what was called 'potage herbs' years back.
Happy early nettle picking everyone!
PSA-fibre tip... Harvest for food and tea in an area different from where you might want to harvest for fibre later, pinched tips cause the plant to bifurcate with the lost leader, so fibre is inferior 😉
 
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Sharon Kallis wrote:
PSA-fibre tip... Harvest for food and tea in an area different from where you might want to harvest for fibre later, pinched tips cause the plant to bifurcate with the lost leader, so fibre is inferior 😉


If i harvest at the very beginning of the spring, the shoots are only inches from the ground. Then I stop harvesting when they get higher and my nettles grow to a good 7-8' tall, long and straight with the branching only early on near the ground.

Does it really affect the fiber quality if I am doing it like that?

So far I've only eaten them and messed around with the fiber in small quantities (experimenting making short bits of twine with my kids) so I really don't have the background to tell if the fiber is good or not.
20200523_141353.jpg
My nettle patch in early May.
My nettle patch in early May.
 
Sharon Kallis
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Jenny Wright wrote:

Sharon Kallis wrote:
PSA-fibre tip... Harvest for food and tea in an area different from where you might want to harvest for fibre later, pinched tips cause the plant to bifurcate with the lost leader, so fibre is inferior 😉


If i harvest at the very beginning of the spring, the shoots are only inches from the ground. Then I stop harvesting when they get higher and my nettles grow to a good 7-8' tall, long and straight with the branching only early on near the ground.

Does it really affect the fiber quality if I am doing it like that?

So far I've only eaten them and messed around with the fiber in small quantities (experimenting making short bits of twine with my kids) so I really don't have the background to tell if the fiber is good or not.


Jenny, if your nettles are tall and straight, - and not split like fingers in a peace symbol-then you are golden!
 
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Last year I blanched and froze a bunch of nettles. Yesterday I cooked some white sweet potato and onion and garlic in chicken bone broth and added the nettles and pureed it all together. Then butter, salt, Ajika spice blend (someone above has a recipe with nutmeg, which would also be amazing), and plenty of lemon zest and juice. It's one of my favorite soups I've made thus far. I'm gonna go have some for breakfast now.
 
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I've been chasing Stinging Nettles for the past 15 yrs however haven't located any growing here in Richmond, Virginia.  When I visited England a while back I was astounded about how readily Nettles grew there (like everywhere).   I have been however collecting Nettle Recipes.  Have not made these but here are a few:

MAKING VEGETABLE RENNET OUT OF NETTLES:

https://homesteading.com/vegetable-rennet-cheesemaking/


HOMEMADE TORTILLAS WITH NETTLES  (Makes 14 Small Tortillas)
Tortilla Press
Parchment Paper circles cut to size of Tortilla Press
Cast Iron Skillet (or Non-Stick Skillet)
Clean Dish Towel to cover warm Tortillas
--
2 Cups Masa Harina
2 Tablespoons Dried Nettle Leaf (crumbled to powder)
1 Teaspoon fine Sea Salt (if your Masa Harina is salted might leave out)
1-1/2 to 2 Cups Warm Water
Combine Masa Harina, Salt (if using) & Dried Nettle Powder
Add 1-1/2 Cups Warm Water to the dried ingredients & combine ~ you want a moist mix but you don't want sticky finger level ~ If too moist (sticky) add additional Masa Harina & if too dry add additional water
Prewarm the Skillet to the  'hot' stage on stove
Roll the Masa Harina in to rounds just smaller than golf ball size rounds
Place 1 of the Parchment Circles on your Tortilla Press.
Place 1 ball Masa on to the Tortilla Press (on the Parchment Paper) then place the second piece of round Parchment on top
Press the dough down firmly in the Tortilla Press sound it is thin and uniformly pressed on both sides (may need to flip the Tortilla to opposite side & press down again)
Carefully remove the 'Tortilla' from the Press, remove the Parchment Paper, place it in the hot skillet &  cook 20 - 30 seconds on each side.
Taste the first Tortilla and if you want to add additional salt to the remaining batter (or add additional water if tastes too dry) then do it now
Repeat the process with the remaining Masa balls.
Place the cooked Tortillas in the Dish Towel to keep them warm.
(Recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs)
----------------

NETTLE SOUP WITH ASPARAGUS  (Makes about 3 Quarts Soup) - Vegan
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced
7 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bunch of asparagus (approximately 300 grams), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (13.5 ounce) can of coconut milk
5 cups broth (bone broth, vegetable broth or even water)
150 grams of young fresh nettle leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
more salt and pepper to taste
dash of cream (optional)
Optional topping handful of mushrooms (morels, shiitakes, chanterelles, buttons, etc.), minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, minced
In a large saucepan heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add two more tablespoons of olive oil, wait a few moments for it to warm up. Add the garlic, curry powder, cumin powder, black pepper and salt. Sauté for one minute or until aromatic. Add the asparagus and cook for 3-5 minutes or until it becomes bright green in color. Add the coconut milk and broth (or water) and bring to a boil. Add the fresh nettle leaves. Stir well. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the asparagus is fairly soft.

Optional mushroom topping: While the soup is cooking you can make an optional mushroom topping. Heat the butter in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the minced mushrooms and cook until thoroughly done and tender. Set aside. Once the asparagus is soft, turn off the heat on the soup. Add the lemon juice.    Using an immersion blender (or an upright blender) blend on high until thoroughly creamed.             (If using an upright blender be sure to allow steam to escape while blending to avoid a big hot mess.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve asparagus and nettle soup in bowls with a dash of cream (optional) and a couple spoonfuls of mushrooms (optional).
Recipe © 2018 LearningHerbs.

--------
WILD GREENS PESTO
2 cups of greens (I had a mix of stinging nettles **, bittercress, wooly lamb’s ear, baby spinach, kale, chickweed, and carrot greens)
1 tbsp minced fresh oregano  (I used a lovely Cuban Oregano, which isn’t exactly Oregano. Nor is it from Cuba.)
3 fat cloves of garlic
1/8 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
1/8 cup roasted sunflower seeds
Splash of lemon juice (or 1 tbsp minced fermented lemon)
Hard cheese such as parmesan to taste
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
** If you are using nettles in your wild pesto, don’t forget to blanch them for a minute or two before proceeding with the recipe to remove the sting!
Rough chop the greens and oregano & add to food processor (or mortar and pestle).
Toss in the garlic cloves and seeds/nuts and blend.
Add a splash of lemon juice or fermented lemon rind to brighten up the color and flavor alike.
Add olive oil one tablespoon or so at a time until you have your preferred texture. Want a sauce? Add more. Want a paste? Add less!
Flavor to taste with salt, pepper, and the hard cheese.
I prefer to wait a day or so to use my pesto so the flavors can meld. You can also freeze any excess for use later on in the year!
Recipe by Amber Shehan

Stacye in Richmond, Virginia














 
Thekla McDaniels
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I bought a lot of organic dried herbs in February of 2020.  Including a pound of dried nettles.  Now, as I prepare to move, I am trying to decrease what I will have to pack and move.  And here where I live we are still in the “hunger gap” time of year…. So I am eating dried nettles for greens, having depleted my supply of frozen sautéed greens.  

They weren’t a good addition to the saag panir, because they didn’t disintegrate into smooth consistency, but they didn’t ruin the dish either


I make nettle tea, then eat the greens, putting them into any scrambled egg dish.  

Dried, they go well into a smoothie as noted above, sprinkled on a pizza is good

Tonight I put my Thai red curry (commercially available curry paste) with coconut milk (from a can in the pantry) hamburger, onion frozen tomatoes and peppers etc, kind of a saucy dish with lots of flavor … I put half a cup of dried nettles in the bowl then ladled the curry over it..  I guess I replaced the rice with dried nettles.

It’s good, not something I would find on the menu of a fine restaurant, but I find plenty of reasons  to consider it food.  I try not to eat much grain or complex carbs like potatoes.  And any fresh greens I have access to come from far away.

Dried nettles keep well, store well, are exceedingly nutritious.  And I do get tired of kale!  The dried nettles don’t seem to lose the coarse texture… I guess that’s a “chewing opportunity”.  Let me get this year’s move accomplished, and I plan to find harvest and dry my own nettles, as protection from hunger, starvation and impoverished health.  I might find that the nettles I dry won’t have the coarse texture.

I have never noticed the same coarse texture with fresh ones

With dried nettles as a staple, I guess they could be eaten like one eats corn flakes, in a bowl with some liquid added (milk or yogurt and cut or dried fruit or raisins, and some nuts  ) or with a few teaspoons of granola

Or in a savory “salad” with marinated or sautéed mushrooms, sardines, dried gojis, and a vinaigrette.
 
Jenny Wright
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:I bought a lot of organic dried herbs in February of 2020.  Including a pound of dried nettles.  Now, as I prepare to move, I am trying to decrease what I will have to pack and move.  And here where I live we are still in the “hunger gap” time of year…. So I am eating dried nettles for greens, having depleted my supply of frozen sautéed greens.  

They weren’t a good addition to the saag panir, because they didn’t disintegrate into smooth consistency, but they didn’t ruin the dish either...

Dried nettles keep well, store well, are exceedingly nutritious.  And I do get tired of kale!  The dried nettles don’t seem to lose the coarse texture… I guess that’s a “chewing opportunity”.  Let me get this year’s move accomplished, and I plan to find harvest and dry my own nettles, as protection from hunger, starvation and impoverished health.  I might find that the nettles I dry won’t have the coarse texture.

I have never noticed the same coarse texture with fresh ones

With dried nettles as a staple, I guess they could be eaten like one eats corn flakes, in a bowl with some liquid added (milk or yogurt and cut or dried fruit or raisins, and some nuts  ) or with a few teaspoons of granola


Thank you for sharing your observations. I've only ever eaten nettles fresh so I had no idea the texture would change so much by drying.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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The texture may have to do with the condition of the leaves when harvested.  I was talking to a friend last night, who has a patch of nettles in her garden, transplanted from the cabin where I used to live.

Her observation about texture of the fresh nettle leaves is that the older leaves are coarse even when fresh, and the new growth is tender.  It’s possible the dried nettle I bought was old leaves.

I’ve often read that nettles should be harvested for culinary use before the plant flowers.  That recommendation might be related to the texture question.

The best nettle might be harvested before the plant flowers, but after, they are still nutritious.
 
Jenny Wright
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:
The best nettle might be harvested before the plant flowers, but after, they are still nutritious.


The oxalic acid is a lot higher after the nettles start to flower. I think it affects the taste. I won't eat them after they flower. They taste pretty bad to me but I mostly eat them raw, not cooked. Maybe cooking the older leaves makes them more palatable? Before they flower, they have a completely different taste to me, very light and sweet with a citrus flavor. The first time I tried a new leaf straight of the plant my thought was, "it tastes like pineapple!" The leaves off flowering plants have a bitter aftertaste that I can taste even when I have a few blended up in a smoothie.
 
George Ulrich
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There is a potential of harm from the silica crystals produced by stinging nettles after it flowers. I watched an herbalist guy on Youtube who made that statement of possible harm. I have yet to research such harm . I suppose the PUBMED search will give me some definitive answers.
 
George Ulrich
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I meant to add that the harm is due to the fact that the silica becomes larger and could damage one's kidneys
 
George Ulrich
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I meant to add that the harm is due to the fact that the silica becomes larger and could damage one's kidneys
 
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