How to Cook Stinging Nettle Pesto Pasta. Taste wise, nettles are a mild and tasty green, with a bit more density than something like spinach. 1. TAMING Nettle’s Sting. Blanch the leaves for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. These hairs act like miniature hypodermic needles, injecting you with histamine, folic acid, and other substances that cause localized redness and pain. How to eat Nettles. ~Hank. If sautéeing raw nettles, make sure to keep the heat high so the liquid they throw off as they cook evaporates quickly. The stalk and leaves are covered in very fine, needle-like hairs or projections. Rinse them afterwards, which doubles as washing them as well. Freeze it and use within a year. Heat up a big pot of salted, boiling water. At this point, it's best to think of stinging nettles in a similar fashion to spinach in terms of cooking the leaves. If you’ve made it past the rash sentence above, good. Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) are quite a cheeky plant and one that everyone remembers! As I prepared a large pot of boiling water, I admired the nettles’s papery toothed leaves. Place the nettles into a pot of boiling water for a few seconds. Add the oil, butter, or other cooking fat, swirl to melt and/or heat, and add the nettles. Cooking or drying neutralises the toxic components, and nettles can be … Despite this, by foraging and cooking with these nettles, we can end up with some tasty dishes! NOTE: Most of my nettle recipes are linked within the following article. You can also find a straight list of all my nettle and wild greens recipes above. For example, did you know that stinging nettles can be used as an amazing filling for pasta? You have to blanch nettles anyway before eating them, and the left over blanching water can be used as a vegetarian stock. Chop and use in a recipe or dehydrate and store in a Mason jar or similar container, for future use. Squeeze to drain as much moisture as possible, chop, and place in freezer bags or containers. You can remove the leaves before digging up the roots, save them and use them in a stir fry or dry them for tea. Stinging nettle comes under the simple name "nettle" on most teas and commercial packaging. 100g freshly picked stinging nettles (Make sure your gloves are on!) Nettles are quite distinctive, and once you've gotten familiar with them you'll find you can recognize them at a distance (which is good...). You have to blanch nettles anyway before eating them, and the left over blanching water can be used as a vegetarian stock. How to make it: Step 1: From the dough ingredients (flour, salt, turmeric, and hot water) knead a solid pasta dough. A salad spinner would work even better. There are about 18 varieties in the genus Urtica, including wood nettle, horsenettle, spurge nettle, and more. In order to reap the benefits of stinging nettle, they need to be “de-stung” first. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a perennial plant originally native to Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia but now found worldwide.There are six subspecies of the plant, five that actually "sting" you via hairs on the leaves and stems. This not only cleans the nettles but takes out the sting. Some 2013 research shows that there are many plant foods that are anti-inflammatory, including nettle. (The blanching water makes a great tea or can be used a base for a vegetable stock, so don’t throw it out). D eep green nettle soup is a spring treat; don’t worry, all the sting is taken out by the heat of the liquid. But to cook them, you first need to tame them. To Dehydrate… Dry clean leaves in a single layer in food dehydrator until crispy, or hang in small bunches in a dry, room temperature spot until leaves are fully dehydrated. Stinging nettles might sound like a bit of an unusual ingredient, but they’re actually a source of vitamin C, and when handled and cooked properly, they’re nothing to be afraid of — they’ve been used in food and cooking for millennia. The easiest way to blanch stinging nettles is to put a fitted metal strainer/colander down into a pot of boiling water (as is being done here), then pull the colander out when done. Freeze tea in plastic freezer containers. How to Cook Stinging Nettles. This is how: You will need two or three big tong-fulls of fresh stinging nettles for this recipe. To blanch, place in boiling water for a minute or two, and then quickly douse in ice water. The brief exposure to high heat neutralizes the stinging hairs. Using Stinging Nettles. We jokingly call it “Incredible Hulk Soup” due its color, although cooking stinging nettles does tend to dull the color a bit. The best and easiest way to prepare fresh stinging nettle is to blanch them in water. We wish there was a more local nut (like pecans or walnuts) that tasted as good in pesto as pine nuts. Store in an airtight container in a dark place. Stinging nettles are found in abundance across the UK, most often viewed as weeds. They were one of the first plants I began foraging and were a gateway plant into the fascinating world of wild foods. Our favorite use of cooked nettles is to make soup. By doing this it gets rid of any dirt or other bits we don’t want in the pesto. ... Just fry them, blanch them, wilt over flames. If you just want to make nettle tea later, first give the leaves a rinse and pat them dry (avoid touching them with bare skin). Simply brush your hand across this plant and you’ll quickly identify the species. How to Dry Stinging Nettle Step 1 – Wash Nettle Put on a pair of gloves to dip and swish the nettles in a bowl of cold water, repeat in a fresh bowl of water, then drain. The key to neutralizing the stinging agent is to use moist heat (either blanching or steaming) to lightly cook them before touching or consuming them. The stem is square in shape and the leaves are jagged and simple, growing opposite from one another. Another way to clean the nettles is the blanching method. Stinging nettle pesto is a green sauce/condiment/paste made with garlic, salt, Parmesan, walnuts, oil and blanched stinging nettle. Do this by blanching in hot water for a few seconds. While the leaves are blanching, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice for an ice-water bath. Top Your Pizza. ... Blanch whole leaves and pack in freezer bags or plastic containers and freeze. Lay out to dry on an absorbent towel. Wear gloves when harvesting and dropping them into the boiling water. But leave them for too long and - like spinach - the leaves will wilt too far, and start to lose flavour, texture and goodness. In the Salzburger Pinzgau region, wonderful recipes are created from natural ingredients. Transfer the blanched leaves to the ice water, and stir. ... Identifying Stinging Nettles. If you handle them correctly, nettles are actually a dead simple green to prepare. When you are ready to eat your nettles, blanch them in hot water for five minutes and drain. By using gloves to pick them and then blanching them, you stay sting-free while making them safe to consume. Ok here we go! Stinging nettle has anti-inflammatory properties which can help alleviate pain. Blanch for 1 minute in boiling water, chill, pack tightly into freezer bags and store in freezer for winter. Stinging nettles are really delicious, but before consuming it is important to take out the sting. (That is, if you want to consume them yourself). First, blanch the nettles. While some seasoned nettle foragers swear by foraging with their bare hands (there is some evidence that stings from stinging nettles can actually help to prevent and treat arthritis), I don’t recommend it. Treat nettles like any other leafy green, such as spinach, although they need to be cooked to eliminate the sting. Freeze Nettle Stock/Nettle Tea. Step 4: Toast pine nuts and toss-dry your blanched nettle leaves — then cool them. Check out these easy ways to use nettles to offer great taste and nutrition to your meals. A short bath into the boiling water {called blanching} was all they needed to become tame. Stinging nettle has naturalized in nearly every state in the United States. Taming wild stinging nettles is as easy as boiling water. Heat up a big pot of salted, boiling water. Wash your nettles in cold water and carefully strain them. Stinging nettles are a traditional ingredient in Austrian cuisine. Stinging Nettle is an herbaceous perennial that can grow from 3-6 feet in height. That’s why you should cook stinging nettles rather than eating them raw. I Chose the Nettle leaf for the logo of my business. The nettles now have lost their “sting” and can be used in place of spinach for most recipes, including lasagna or pasta sauce. 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. 1. Blanch the stinging nettles for a few minutes; Strain the water away from the nettles. There are several varieties of nettles, the best being Urtica dioica and U. urens. Dried Nettle Leaves for Tea. Quart size freezer bags of stinging nettle and curly dock. To remove the sting from the nettles, blanch them by boiling them in water with a little bit of salt for about 5 minutes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the nettles are tender, about 2 minutes for blanched nettles and a few minutes longer for raw nettles. Sounds a lot like basil pesto, doesn’t it? Take care when foraging for stinging nettles. Long Term: Blanch for 1 minute, then rinse, drain, and freeze. First, blanch them. All look similar, can be eaten, are highly nutritious and have the same troublesome hairs. Stinging nettles can be made into tea, used in soups, or sauteed with some butter. Photo by Holly A. Heyser. Lift them from the bath and spread them out onto a clean dishtowel or paper towels, and pat them dry. Quickly blanching them in a pot of boiling water will deaden the sting. Scared off yet? I say tong-fulls because you do not want to pick up fresh nettles, as they will sting you. Gently squish away any excess water from the strained medicinal weeds. To remove that sting, you must first blanch your nettles. Top 5 Ways to Use Stinging Nettles. 1tbs sea salt 30g walnuts 50 to 80g extra vergin olive oil 10g freshley grated Parmesan 1 clove of garlic. That’s because it is very much like basil pesto, you basically just replace the basil with blanched stinging nettle (blanching it removes the stinging). Researchers caution that more research is needed, but this preliminary research seems to support how nettle has been used traditionally. First things first, 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). As you might tell I have a soft spot for Nettles. Before freezing, you’ll want to blanch the leaves to remove the sting. Use stinging nettle as a substitute for spinach in any recipe where the greens are cooked. Nettles can also be dried in a dehydrator. Nettles can be eaten when they're young, as is done in many parts of Europe. 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