Pick only the younger leaves at the tip of the plant until early June (later if you see more young leave coming through). Older leaves are not so tasty. Wash well and remove the tougher stems.
Stinging nettles are tasty and nutritious: 5.5% protein and 2.3% iron.
Ingredients: nettles, oil, nuts, lemon, garlic, salt
You can use Kent cobnuts, brazil nuts, pine nuts, ground almonds or walnuts. We used pinenuts but they are expensive!
Quantities: approx 100g nettle to 50g nuts and 70-100 ml rapeseed oil.
- Crush about a clove of garlic with sea salt and bit of rapeseed oil. Blend very well with oil so no pieces remain.
- Blanch nettles for about 60 seconds in boiling water with salt. Refresh in chilled water for a fresh green colour. Squeeze most of the liquid out (can leave a bit) and save squeezed liquid for nettle tea etc
- Mix nettles, some chopped nuts, garlic and salt. Garlic is an anti-oxidant and stops nettles going black. Blend, but not too much, you want some texture rather than a smooth cream. We chopped everything by hand and crushed and mixed it traditionally using a pestle and mortar to ensure a better texture. A blender works too!
- Add more nuts, especially if aftertaste is nettle.
- Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Add more oil at the end.
- Add a bit of hot water or nettle juice before adding to pasta
Nettles also make a good soup, puree, omelette, soufflé, beer etc and blanched nettles can be frozen.