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:
X Around 20 nettle leaves, or about 1 loose cup
X 1 Tsp butter or duck fat or coconut oil
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:
X About 5-6 loose cup of nettle
X 1 tbsp of butter or duck fat or coconut oil
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!
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.
Works at a residential alternative high school in the Himalayas SECMOL.org . "Back home" is Cape Cod, E Coast USA.
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
posted 4 years ago
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.
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.
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.