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Stinging Nettle


Harvest the early spring shoots of plants four to eight inches high. You might want to wear heavy cotton gloves or even leather gloves for harvesting. Wash in cold water and remove with thongs from water. I enjoy the stinging feeling when harvesting nettles but most people will have a different feeling about this!

Stinging Nettles have a delicate flavour and pleasant texture. It is important to NOT overcook them.
I consider myself a “free flowing cook”; therefore see the following recipes as suggestions and use your own intuitive, creative senses to adjust the recipes and discover your own recipes.


1 1/2 cups Water
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 cup Stinging Nettle, fresh, young leaves – washed
1 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Sour Cream

Bring water to boil, add salt and nettle leaves.
Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Drain right away.
Melt butter in skillet, add nettle leaves and sour cream.
Stir well for a minute or two.
Serve as you would use spinach.

(2) NETTLE FRITTATA (by Darcy Williamson)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups cooked, chopped spinach
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. (freshly grated) nutmeg
8 medium-sized organic eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
Beat together eggs, seasonings and cheese. Set aside.
In a cast iron skillet saute garlic and onion in olive oil until just wilted.
Add Stinging Nettle and heat through.
Pour egg mixture over ingredients in the skillet.
Place skillet in oven and bake until eggs are set, approx. 45 minutes.
Cut into slices and serve hot.

STINGING NETTLE – Great Spring Vegetable but BEWARE

“In early spring, anxious for some fresh greens, my friend Paula and her husband Dennis went to harvest some Earthy greens including Stinging Nettle. Due to circumstances lunch was missed. Paula had a variety of vegetables and grains for supper and added a helping of Stinging Nettle. Dennis on the other hand chose to only eat plates full of steamed Stinging Nettle enjoying them thoroughly. But alas during the night he was awakened by funny numbing sensations. These developed into localized paralysis that moved from one area to the next. After a scary night he was only too happy when the rising sun brought an end to his unusual experience. The moral of the story is: Don’t eat too many steamed nettles alone on an empty stomach because even with heat they’ll sting you numb.”

The above is a true testimonial; nevertheless I encourage you to enjoy the bountiful palette of wild spring greens this year. Watch for the next post with a recipe for Nettles.

Green Blessings,