Thursday, April 05, 2012

stinging nettle for supper


Some of you eagle-eyes knew right away that yesterday's wordless Wednesday post were stinging nettles, didn't you?  I'm considering myself an eagle eye for having found them in the first place.  After 5 years of living here without ever finding a patch, I had resigned myself to the fact that I would have to venture off my land to find some.  But lo and behold, there they were.
  They had snuck a ride in with a load of fill dirt we had delivered last fall.  I'm so happy to have them that I'm going to try transplanting them to another area of the yard, away from the house.


There are a ton of ways to prepare stinging nettles, and they are quite common in many societies, but this was my first time sampling them.  I decided to go with a nettle pesto and it was absolutely delicious.  But then, what isn't when mashed with garlic, cheese, and pine nuts?


For those of you that aren't familiar, stinging nettles are aptly named.  They have tiny hairs on them that inject histamine and other chemicals when touched.  And it hurts.  My arms and calves can still conjure up the feeling of stinging welts on them from my childhood.  The chemicals are neutralized when you briefly cook them.  The sting is gone and the tasty begins.


I'm thinking nettle gnocchi next...

(oh, and Annie... you're right there are some in the dye pot too)


Happy Thursday, all.

9 comments:

Brenda said...

I have never heard of cooking with nettles! We have loads of them over on our empty lots. I mistakenly thought a newly sprouted batch was catnip. OUCH! I was feeling it all day!

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Now there's no way a country dwelling Brit could fail to recognise a stinging nettle. Nettle tea is a great favourite here, and nettle soup, but I've yet to try nettle pesto and clearly I must!

Looking forward to seeing what colours you get at this season ... early nettles give such fresh tones. And if you've never tried dyeing with the roots I'd give that a go too :D

Amy said...

You had me at pesto:)!

Nancy said...

Looks yummy! I've got stinging nettle tea...but I've never tried to cook with it.

k said...

mmm, i love nettles. they have been slow going here this year, taking their time in popping, but i have managed to get a few meals out of them. pesto of course is awesome, but i also recommend in quiche. i don't have nettles in my yard but pick along a local walking trail - which means no pick is complete without a least a couple people stopping to have a little q&a about what i'm doing.

NillaK said...

Ah, nettle soup with boiled eggs in halves... Yum yum! But I'm still waiting for mine to grow taller, they're still tiny here.

Bonkers About Buttons said...

I've only picked them a couple times as I'm a wimp - I hate getting stung - and those buggers always seem to find me! Can't believe I never thought of pesto tho'! We made a couple of variations of ravioli (a cheesy one & nettle version & then a butternut squash & nettle) and they were delicious. I was not sure what to expect but loved the delicate 'piquantness', as did the children .

Jamie said...

Too bad I can't ship them to you - we get LOADS in the right season.

= )

Sewz4fun said...

Are these stingy nettles the same as "itch weed"? That's what we used to call it when we were kids .

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