Stinging Nettles – Don’t be afraid, they’re quite tasty

If you came to market last week, you probably talked with me about Stinging Nettles. We only brought a few bags to market. We sold a couple and came home with one bag…and we were excited to bring the bag home! Nettles are most commonly known as a weed, but the seeds are being sold as part of the produce line because of their yummy cooked quality. In the “raw” Nettles will sting you, as I warned people at market. Their little hairs will cause a sting which could last anywhere from a few minutes up to a week. From Matt’s personal experience, it only lasted a short time. Soaking Nettles in water will help take the sting away, but I certainly wouldn’t suggest eating them raw. Once you add a little heat, the stinging completely goes away and lets you enjoy the spinach-like flavor and kale-like texture.

Stinging Nettles

Stinging Nettles

We took our bag home with us and decided that our 1st anniversary dinner would include the Nettles. Now, our anniversary was actually on Friday night, but we were harvesting for market. So, we decided to have our dinner on Sunday night.

Washed Stinging Nettles

Our dinner consisted of grilled local venison loin (thanks Pruntys), grilled mushrooms, sauteed Stinging Nettles, and a slice of grilled wheat bread (organic flour from Venners). Matt garnished the plate with some grilled thyme and rosemary. We sat on our deck and enjoyed the lovely meal with a nice glass of pinot. It really was wonderful.

Local items: venison, nettles, thyme, & bread

I’m hoping to bring a couple bags of Nettles with us to market again tomorrow. Below is the very simple recipe we used to make the Nettles pictured above. They really are a treat…and did I mention they are high in vitamins A, C, D, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium.

Ingredients
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
– bag Stinging Nettles
– pinch crushed red pepper flakes
– 1/2 lemon
– grated Parmesan

Directions
Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add garlic. Stir for a few seconds, then add stinging nettles to pan using tongs. Season with salt, pepper, and add crushed red pepper flakes. Toss until wilted. Transfer to serving plate. Squeeze lemon juice over sauteed nettles and top with some grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy.

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