Here is a great spring recipe that utilizes our bounty of spring nettles. This dish is both fantastic tasting, and attractive looking. Nettles are naturally energizing because they are packed with nutrients like iron, calcium, high in trace mineral salts, and extremly protein rich. They are also adept at combating spring allergies.
Superb Nettle Mushroom Brown Rice Risotto
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp butter
1/2 yellow onion chopped
3 cloves fresh garlic minced
1/2 cup pre-soaked raw hazelnuts chopped then toast them in a skillet
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms of choice (I like shitake)
3 cups chopped and cleaned spring nettles. Note-(you may want to harvest and handle with gloves to avoid the stings).
2 cups brown rice of choice
3 cups stock of choice or water
sea salt and pepper to taste
In large heated skillet add olive oil and butter.
Add onion, garlic, mushrooms and brown rice. Stir and brown on med heat.
Add thyme, sea salt, pepper and nettles, cover with stock of choice or water. Turn up heat until it simmering and then turn down so it continues to simmer on low.
Put a lid on and time for 45 minutes.
Another great recipe is Nettle Pesto see below.
Stinging Nettle Pesto
4 full packed cups of fresh nettles
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup pine nuts or any nuts of choice (I like walnuts)
juice of 1/2 organic lemon with finely grated zest
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves of finely minced garlic
parmesan cheese to taste or none if you are vegan.
Take four cups nettles and chop roughly enough to put in a food processor, add olive oil, lemon juice and zest, pine nuts, garlic, grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Enjoy on rice, pasta, as a great dip, in your lasagna, in soups, on eggs etc. Keeps refrigerated for up to 4 weeks, or freeze in ice cube trays for convenient serving sizes to pop out when needed.
Stinging Nettle Quiche filling
5 eggs at room temperature
cream or milk -a few tsp
green onions chopped -a small bunch
gorgonzola or cambazola cheese
1/2 lb nettles -cleaned, stemmed, and chopped
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cloves garlic chopped fine
salt and pepper
1 pie crust uncooked -I like to make a savory gluten free with almond meal type crust
Preheat oven to 350 f degrees
Heat a skillet to med heat and add a tbsp olive oil
then add your onions, garlic and nettles stir accasionally as the nettles wilt
when mostly cooked down add salt and pepper to taste, then the
lemon juice and zest to brighten the flavors. Turn heat off and set aside.
Mix eggs in bowl with milk or cream (you may add a bit of salt and pepper to this)
Crumble cheese into the bottom of the uncooked crust
Add nettle mixture and pour egg mixture over this and put directly into hot oven for 35-40 minutes until cooked firm through.
Let stand and cool.
Makes a great brunch paired with tossed green salad and fresh seasonal fruit.
Nettle Nutrient Ice cubes
I like to make nettle infusion by filling a quart jar about a 1/4 -to 1/2 full of dried nettles
pour boiling water over the nettles and cap.
Wait 4 hours and strain.
Pour into ice trays and freeze.
Use when cooking to boost the nutrient level of your recipes such as stews, soups,
sauces, and drinks like juices.