Two Stinging Nettle Recipes from Notutopia
Stinging Nettle Pesto
¼ lb. young stinging nettle leaves
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup firmly packed grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fill a large pot halfway full with water. Add ¼ cup salt and bring to a boil.
- For washing the nettles, fill a large bowl with cold water. Using latex gloves or tongs (if you're allergic to rubber), submerge the nettles in the water and let them sit for 5 minutes. Remove the nettles
and discard the water. Wearing gloves, pull the leaves from the stems and discard the thicker stems.
- Put the cleaned washed nettles in the boiling water pot and boil for 1 minute. Drain in a colander and spread the nettles out on a baking
sheet. Let cool completely. Squeeze out as much of the water as possible and coarsely chop.
- Place the nettles in the bowl of a food processor, add the mint, garlic, pine nuts, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Process until the mixture has formed a pesto paste, then pour in the olive oil last.
Transfer the pesto paste into a bowl and fold in the cheese well into the mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Wear gloves when foraging, picking and handling stinging nettles! They have earned that name for a reason! Pick and use only young, delicate nettle leaves for this dish (wearing thick gloves and long sleeves, of course). If the nettles are clean enough, skip the cold-water stage of this recipe and go straight to the
blanching stage. Do not include any thick stems in this mix, you can blanch the stems and the leaves together and leave the stems on; they grind down into a paste just fine. This pesto is wonderful with fresh pasta, or used as a dressing for rolled tortillas.
Stinging Nettle Spaetzle
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup milk
pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 cup fine chopped blanched stinging nettles
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
-Pour flour into bowl, make a well in the center.
- Mix eggs and milk in well of flour, and slowly incorporate them into the flour. Mix thoroughly.
-Let dough rest preferably in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
-Season the batter to taste with salt and pepper, and mix in the chopped blanched stinging nettles. Let rest at room temperature for at least another hour for the flavors to mull.
-Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, place a perforated pan over the pot.
-Pour batter into the perforated pan, then use a bench scraper to push all the dough through the hole perforations into the boiling water below.
-Cook briefly until spaetzle is floating, then remove from water, using a spider, into a large bowl with EVOO in it.
-Toss the cooked spaetzle in a bowl to coat with olive oil, then pour out onto a sheet pan to cool.
Chef's Notes: Wear gloves when foraging, picking and handling stinging nettles! They have earned that name for a reason!