The nettle patches around here are in fine form at the moment. For the past week or so, I’ve been telling myself off for not carrying rubber gloves and a large plastic bag when I go for a dog walk. Finally, I remembered to do it yesterday and picked myself a bagful of bright green, vibrant nettle tips.
I’ve previously shared recipes for nettle soup and nettle loaf. This time I’m making a batch of nettle pesto.
The nettles take the place of basil and I’ve replaced the more traditional pine nuts with walnuts.
The taste and smell is much earthier than traditional pesto but can be used in exactly the same way. It’s a very versatile store cupboard ingredient. I like it with an extra glug of olive oil and mixed through plain spaghetti then finished with a spoonful of grated Parmesan. I also like adding a few small dollops of pesto to the top of a pizza before putting into in the oven. Justin thinks it’s great with roasted or pan fried meats too – and has just made chicken breast wrapped in smoked ham and filled with nettle pesto butter for this evening’s meal.
Foraging season is upon us again. A fortnight ago I made a batch of wild garlic butter.
This week, the stinging nettles are just right for picking. We had a patch in a corner of our allotment that was looking lush and healthy. It’s now had a little pruning session – and is the star ingredient in a nettle loaf.
Don’t forget, if you’re going to try this recipe, take a pair of gloves and only pick the tips and first two leaves – much like tea-picking, I reckon!
The nettles make for a rustic, flavoursome and attractive loaf.
I’ve used a basic white loaf recipe; but a half & half mixture of white and wholemeal will enhance the earthy, nutty flavour of the nettles. And nettles are SO good for you
Pin this recipe for later!
Whilst we were out walking this Easter weekend we came across a patch of lovely young stinging nettles…
…ideal for making our first nettle soup of the year. Fortunately we had the forethought to take some gloves and a carrier bag with us.
It was delicious with crusty bread!
Here’s our simple recipe if you’d like to try it out for yourself:
• 1 medium onion
• couple of sticks of celery
• 1 small leek
• 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 large knob of butter
• 1 vegetable stock cubes
• 4 pints of water
• 4 medium potatoes peeled & chopped
• large bowl/standard-sized plastic carrier bag-full of nettle leaves (only use tips & young leaves)
1. Roughly chop onion, celery & leek
2. Put in large, thick-bottomed saucepan
3. Sweat over gentle heat in vegetable oil & butter for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
4. Add water & potatoes to the saucepan
5. Crumble stock cube into saucepan
6. Bring to the boil & simmer for ½ hour
7. Add nettle leaves & simmer for a further 20 minutes
8. Blend & pass through a sieve
9. Season with salt & black pepper to taste
10. Add a splash of cream to finish (optional)
Will Forage for Soup: Gourmet Soups from Wild Greens is a foraging experience and how-to cookbook rolled into one. This digital book includes:
* The most common greens for foraging, their flavour and resources on where to find them.
* How to clean greens for soup.
* Preserving your bounty in the freezer with very little space required.
* Combining greens in soup for best flavour.
* Blanching versus boiling your greens – nutritional considerations.
* How to make a nutritious and flavourful soup base with vegetarian options.
* Tips for bringing out the flavour in your soup’s seasonings.
* A resource on spices so that you can create your own signature soup.
* Six recipes using common foraged greens.
Click here to view more details