Friday, April 3, 2009

Nettle Time -- Part 4, cooking

Now for the fourth and final installment about my first spring picking of Nettles -- recipes.

Here is the easy answer as to how to use fresh/parboiled nettles -- treat them like spinach.

Some recipes I tried were Nettle Quiche (top), and Sauteed Nettles.

The Nettle Quiche is very straightforward, I just used a basic quiche recipe and put some chopped, sauteed nettles into the mix with the cheese.

The Sauteed Nettles are simply onions cut thin, sauteed down until carmelized, then the parboiled, chopped nettles introduced into the pan with some salt and pepper and tossed until warm and coated with tasty onion oil goodness. The non-veg version is to cook bacon in the pan first, pour off most of the fat, keeping about 2 Tbs., then cook the onions and Nettles as above, but adding bacon bits into the mix. Mega tasty.

Although I used freshly-parboiled Nettles for the dishes pictured here, frozen ones work just dandy. The flavor is preserved, and if you were sparce with parboiling as I mentioned in Part 3, then the texture will be good as well.

The taste of the nettles was most apparent in the saute recipes, so if you are wanting to show off their unique flavor I'd go that route.

I found out that folks have been able to buy nettles at farmers markets lately, so you might want to check that option out if you don't have time to hit the woods but want to experiment with these greens.

Enjoy exploring wild foods this spring,



Anonymous said...

I've heard some NW tribes flagellated themselves with nettles, whilst out on the water, to stay awake during multi-day whale hunts. I prefer to get my whale the old-fashioned way - from the store, dummy!

Kevin said...

The nettle quiche sounds tasty!

Bpaul said...

I won't lie... it was.