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How Do I Cook The Nettles That I Picked Up At The Farmers' Market?

Anyone have any suggestions on how to cook the nettles that I picked up at my local farmers' market?

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  1. Carefully. Rinse them without handling them (a pasta strainer will work).

    I saute garlic in olive oil and then add the nettles to the sauce pan. They're ready when they're still bright green and just starting to go limp (2 or 3 minutes?). Throw them in pasta with cheese, or let them cool and eat them plain.

      1. re: hannaone

        I didn't have any milk in the house, so I improvised off of this recipe for nettle soup from the Chocolate and Zucchini blog, except that onions make me sick so I had to omit the onions.


        It wasn't bad exactly, but kind of bland. Plus, I put a tablespoon of creme fraiche in the bowl I ate and that was way too much creme fraiche. I have a huge pot of the stuff left, so I will have to experiment with seasonings tomorrow. The soup with the creme fraiche tasted a bit like watery creamed spinach.

        1. re: omotosando

          I reheated the nettle soup this morning for breakfast, skipped the creme fraiche and seasoned liberally with tumeric and it was better. I have one serving left, which I am going to try for breakfast tomorrow, stirring in an egg just before serving.

      2. Some Swedes i.e., my MIL serve them in a cream sauce.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Joebob

          Scandinavians serve practically all vegetables in lots of cream sauce!

        2. Obviously too late for you now, but I've made nettle risotto and it was delicious. A bit more "green" tasting than spinach - but use any spinach risotto recipe as a guide. Definitely handle carefully but once it's been blanched or steamed it's harmless. We have them growing all over the edges of our fields in the spring.

          1. I really liked the nettle and feta turnovers I made last spring. I steamed my nettles, squeezed them dry after, chopped them a bit, tossed them with good feta and maybe a little mint or oregano, and tucked them inside dough. Yum!

            My sweetie and I noticed that they have an iodine-y quality that gets more pronounced if you overcook them, so watch for that.

            I think they'd make great oysters rockafeller.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Vetter

              That sounds amazing. What kind of dough?

            2. i was just watching 'jamie at home' today and he did a great-looking spinach and nettle tart...here's a breakdown of the recipe/method:

              Roll out some savoury pastry to a centimeter thick into a rectangle (a little bigger than an 11 by 15 inch baking sheet. Line it into the baking sheet, making about an inch high crust around the edges. (It has to be able to hold in the filling.) Stab it all over with a fork, so it doesn’t rise. Bake it blind for 6 to 7 minutes at 180°C.

              Sweat 2 chopped red onions in olive oil for 10 minutes (or longer). Add spinach from the garden, which definitely didn’t look like baby spinach and leaves of “stinging nettles”, which look like weeds with poisonous berries attached. Add just the leaves and berries…no stems.

              That all cooks down for a bit with a knob of butter and salt and pepper. Oh, and add ONE THIRD of a nutmeg. Chop up some fresh marjoram and add that stems and all.

              Beat 3 eggs with 500g crème fraîche, a handful of Parmesan, salt and pepper. That’s the basic recipe to which you may add all kinds of flavourings: sun-dried tomatoes, tomatoes, basil, whatever.

              Put the spinach mixture into the baked shell and add some chopped smoked boiled ham on top. Pour the crème fraîche filling into the middle. If you’ve made the edges high enough, the filling will stay in; if you haven’t, grab some towels. Sprinkle some extra Parmesan on top. Add a little more marjoram and some little “lugs of olive oil”. Bake it at 180°C for 12 minutes.

              Add a bit of watercress to the top that and dress with olive oil, lemon juice and salt

              I remember that there was supposed be some italian ham in there somewhere...probably sauteed along w/ the red onions and nettles.

              1. omotosando--I see you're in Los Angeles. Which farmer's market did you get them at? I've been wanting to try nettles but have never seen them for sale.

                4 Replies
                1. re: thursday

                  I got them at the Wednesday Santa Monica Market. I also saw them at the Saturday market (the Arizona market). There is a vendor called Flora Bella that sells them. Not sure if he still has them. He always has interesting things. http://www.florabellafarm.net/ The nettles are not cultivated, but are wild I believe. There is a phone number on the website that you can call to see if he is still bringing in nettles.

                  1. re: thursday

                    Thursday, I just returned from the Saturday morning Santa Monica/Arizona Farmer's Market and picked up some more nettles, so Flora Bella is still bringing them in. I forgot to ask him how long he will have them. He also has lamb's quarters. He mentioned that he has some interns on the farm who are going a bit crazy with the nettles and putting them in everything, including pancakes.

                    1. re: omotosando

                      Thanks, omotosando! I live in the Valley, so I don't get that way often, but it may be worth it next week so I can give those nettles a try-

                      1. re: thursday

                        I know no one has been on here in years, but thought I would update some info here. I spoke with James from Flora Bella today, and he told me that he usually has nettles in the Winter. He said usually from December through the end of March.

                        I would call or E-mail and check to make sure they will have soem before making a drive out there, his contact info is on the site: httP://www.FloraBellaFarm.net/