April 12, 2010

Don't Touch

Stinging nettles are loaded with amino acids, chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals. They are also loaded with stings. This time of year you can find stinging nettles in lots of places, they grow wild, much like brambles and blackberries. You can also buy them, as I did, if you live in the city. It seems a bit silly to buy stinging nettles, doesn’t it? Never mind. Of course, you must not handle them with your bare hands or, as their name implies, you will be stung. I brought mine home in a plastic bag, and pulled them out with tongs so that I could snip the leaves from the stem. Nettles make a healthful tea simply steeped in hot water, but I enjoy them most sauteed with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

Makes enough for two

1 large produce bag of nettles, leaves cut from stem – don’t touch! – use gloves or tongs to handle

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

2 generous pinches of sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

a splash or two of water, as needed

Heat a large pan over medium heat and pour in olive oil. Add minced garlic and stir to prevent it from scorching. Add the nettle leaves, being careful not to touch. Turn them over in the hot pan and add a little water as necessary. Sprinkle in some sea salt and pepper, again adding water if needed. Cook briefly, until fully wilted. There, that’s it. They’re so good. Don’t worry, you can eat them without getting stung. Cooking kills the sting and the result is a great spinach-like green.

Nutritious Nettles


4 Responses to “Stung”

  1. I love nettles and one year a forager told me you should only eat the smallest new leaves, so when I do get them at the market, I look for tiny leaves and buy early in the season.

  2. Dad said

    I have picked nettles,the older they are the more likly they will sting. Try picking them, it is very easy. Also, the sting you could test your self when picking, just do not over do. Yes, the young plants may have no sting at all. I am not sure if you pick the plant and wait if the sting developes or if it has to be old when you pick it. Old plants when you pick them will sting!

  3. Theresa said

    A good friend of mine from Holland used to tell lots of childhood stories about stinging nettles, and I loved this simple recipe! I am going to send it to him. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this!

  4. Cathy said

    Pray tell. Where did u find nettles in vancouver and how much were they?

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