Yep, we know they might give you a nasty sting, but did you know that you can actually eat stinging nettles?
They’re free, if you can find them near where you live, and pretty good for you too. Right in time for National Be Nice to Nettles Week, we’ve rounded up ten beautiful nettle recipes for you to try….
What do you mean you’ve never had a stinging nettle pie? Heather from the blog Voodoo and Sauce came up with this lovely pastry, with a filling of not only nettles, but cheese, pine nuts and mushrooms too. Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? If you’re still in doubt, Heather has words for you. “Oh my goodness, is this ever a Thing. Best nettles ever,” she writes. Check out the recipe on her blog.
Nettle Pesto on Pizza
As with most edible green leaves, it turns out that nettle is a bit of a star when it’s whizzed up into a pesto sauce. Julia from the blog Sassy Kitchen tempts us with this toasted pistachio nettle pesto, smeared all over a home made pizza base before a quick cheese topping is added. It’s finished with a bake in the oven. Gorgeous. Full instructions over at Julia’s blog.
Nettle and Lemon Cake
Kate, who blogs at Veggie Desserts admits that she has a bit of an obsession with putting vegetables in her cake recipes. And why not? Here, she’s combined stinging nettles with lemon and topped the cake with a buttercream lemon icing and some fresh blackberries. “Stinging nettle has all the makings of your favourite leafy green,” she says, “but because the supermarkets don’t stock it, and it, well, stings, many haven’t tried it.” Why not give it a go?
Yep, even your favourite Italian comfort food treat can be adapted to include stinging nettles. Zach and Clay, from The Bitten Word created this lasagne recipe that incorporates some of our favourite spring ingredients - asparagus, peas and, of course, nettles. Nettles are said to be at their best for eating in spring, so it’s a perfect recipe to make right now.
Wild Nettle Bread
Anna from Camera and Clementine decided to take a bunch of nettles, chop them up and add them to her home made bread recipe. “Its delicious, and nutritious,” she writes. They look fab too, with their little nettle leaf decoration. Get all the details on her blog.
Cute, little frosted cupcakes - perfect for a special tea or birthday party. And there’s lemon again, this time in the form of a mascarpone icing swirled on top. They were made by Jennifer from Gather and you can find the recipe - and some handy foraging tips - on her blog.
Nettle Devilled Eggs
How’s this for a cool party food this spring? Zhenya from The Feral Gardener combined fresh stinging nettles with eggs and some herbs and spices to make these fantastic Devilled Eggs. Get the recipe on his blog.
We’ve heard of nettle tea, but did you know you could juice the leaves, too? Ana from The Awesome Green says that this green juice is energising and restoring. As well as fresh nettles, it also contains ingredients such as apples, celery and lime juice.
Move over kale, we’re all about the nettles, now. This is another recipe from Jennifer at Gather - you just season the fresh leaves and bake them in the oven until they’re crisp. “You can try to store them in an airtight container, but let’s get real,” says Jennifer. “You will have in front of you crispy little flavour miracles. You will eat them.”
Nettle Pesto with Eggs
Valeria from the blog Life Love Food has paired this nettle pesto with perfectly cooked scrambled eggs, but also says it would also be good with pasta, on toast with other veggies or in salads. The nettle is blanched first, to take out the sting and blitzed with the other pesto ingredients. “Now, all you have to do is wear some gloves and go on a hunt for nettles. Have fun,” she writes.
Have we inspired you? Have you ever eaten nettles? What are your favourite recipes?