Stinging in the rain

I felt like a princess trying to save the world while out harvesting nettles in the rain. The fairy tale, “The Wild Swans” written by Hans Christian Anderson is about a princess who has to weave 11 jackets out of nettles to rescue her brothers from an evil witch’s spells. Their sister was condemned to die at the stake for her strange actions and her inability to talk about it. I often think about her courage and fortitude sitting in a nettle patch.

Some good recipes to experience the flavor of nettles and to keep bad spells at bay  –

Garlicky Nettle Pesto  1/2 lb nettles, 4 smashed garlic cloves, 1/2 C roasted pine nuts, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 1/4 C olive oil, 1/3 C grated Parmesan cheese.  Simmer the nettles in boiling water to denature their sting for 2 minutes. Drain and wrap them in a clean dishtowel to remove the moisture. Whirl the garlic, pine nuts, nettles, lemon juice in a food processor until finely chopped. Drizzle in the oil and process until smooth. Add cheese and season to taste.

Nettle soup  1 lb chopped fresh nettles, 1/2 lb potatoes, 3-4 green onions, 3 tsp oil, 1 3/4 C water, 1/3 C cream. In a saucepan, saute the onions. Add the potato and water and cook until soft. Add in the nettles and cook for a couple of minutes. Puree and return to the saucepan and add in cream. Season.

Spinach and Nettles Spanakopita (crustless) 2 lb spinach, 2 C nettles, 3 C water, 1/4 C olive oil, 1 diced onion, 1 1/2 tsp dill, 1 tsp salt, 30 grinds of pepper, 8 oz feta cheese, 2 happy eggs, 1 Tb butter for greasing baking dish.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash and stem greens, Add greens and nettles to boiling water for about 10 minutes, until tender. Drain, saving water for later use as soup stock. Chop greens and set aside. Heat oil and saute onions.  In medium bowl, whisk eggs, dill and other seasonings. Add greens, onion and feta cheese – stir again. Spoon into a buttered dish and bake for 40 minutes. Yummers!

Some of you still are not impressed and that is just TOO bad. That means Steve and I will have Spanakopita with the greens remaining after market!

Included in the market boxes this week should also be Mizuna, spinach, lettuce, radishes, asparagus & Solomon’s seal, pea shoots and some other choices to fill out the order. And did I mention radishes? Now is the time to eat them good and sweet.

Search under tags “recipes” or “radishes” etc. to find what has been mentioned in the past. Mizuna might be new to some folks but we harvest it each year in spring and fall. I like it best in scrambled eggs, happy ones, of course.