Stinging Nettle Information and Recipes

Good afternoon everyone!

Falicia here.  We just wanted to send out a bit of information in regards to the nettles that are coming in your shares this week. 

 

Stinging Nettles: A Spring Treat, and so much more!

Recipes and Information

Be sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands when preparing nettles!

Stinging nettles grow wild all over at TapRoot Farms and are super tasty.  The reason behind the irritation is that the plant is covered with super-fine, sharp needles/hairs that puncture your skin and transfer chemicals that trigger a histamine reaction in humans and animals.

The stinging power of nettles is instantly dismantled when they're cooked (and by cooked, we mean anything from pureeing into a soup or quickly steaming/blanching the leaves). What you're left with, once the scary stuff is out of the way, are delicate greens, with a flavor like a spinach-cucumber hybrid and so many nutrients we don't even have time to list them all. Nettles have long been used in natural medicine for their anti-inflammatory properties, and they have the added bonus of tasting delicious. You can really use nettles anywhere you'd use spinach, and we've collected a couple of easy recipes for you to try!

Apart from the fact that the plants sting, nettles are a wonderful ingredient to use in soups, pasta dishes, frittatas—basically in any cooked dish where you would use young spinach. They’re certainly worth the slight challenge involved in picking them, for they are rich in vitamin C, calcium, potassium, flavonoids, histamine, and serotonin—all the great chemicals one needs to re energize after a cold winter and to combat Spring allergies.

If you do happen to come in contact with stinging nettles, you can rinse the area with cold water, dab dry and then apply aloe vera or vinegar to the affected area.  Alternatively, I read online on a few different sites that you can wash the affected area with soap and water, which may help sooth the irritation.

 

SPRING NETTLE SOUP RECIPE

Submitted by Cyndi Fendley Sweeney

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 2 TBSP olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 cups brown mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced

  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

  • 1 bag TapRoot Farms Nettles: about 2 cups

  • 6-7 cups good quality vegetable or chicken stock

 

Optional: dash of thyme or nutmeg

 

Optional: 1 cup of cream or almond milk. (This adds a richness to the soup but is not necessary. If you are not using the cream, add a little more potato and stock, purely to make the soup stretch.)

Method:

In a large stock pot, ‘sweat’ the onion in the olive oil, covered with a lid over low heat for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil kettle. Carefully tear open the nettle bag (without touching the nettles) pour into a large bowl and cover with the freshly boiled water. Let sit for 2 -3 minutes.

This should remove all the stings from the nettle leaves. Drain, and pick out and discard any stems or hard pieces. Roughly chop.

Add garlic and mushrooms to the onion pot, return the lid and sweat for 5 minutes.

Add chopped potato and stock. Bring to a simmer, partly cover for 15 minutes.

Add nettles, simmer for 4 minutes. Puree the soup with a hand mixer or blender.

Stir in cream or almond milk if using. Salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

 

STINGING NETTLE PESTO RECIPE

PREP TIME: 25 min YIELD: 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound nettles

  • 4 large garlic cloves, smashed

  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Method:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer for the nettles. Add the nettles directly from their bag and cook, stirring continuously, for 2 minutes. (This denatures their sting.)

Dump into a colander to drain. When the nettles are cool enough to handle, wrap them in a clean dishtowel and wring out as much moisture as possible, like you would for spinach. You’ll have about a cup of cooked, squished nettles.

 

In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the paddle attachment, whirl the garlic, pine nuts, salt, and pepper to taste until finely chopped. Add the nettles, breaking them up as you drop them in, and the lemon juice and whirl until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream, and process until smooth. Add the cheese, pulse briefly, and season to taste with additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice.

 

From http://jessthomson.wordpress.