How to Forage for Nettles

May 3rd, 2011

Stinging nettle booty.

I love nettles. I even grow them in my yard. But the small patch that’s in the enter at your own risk section of my garden — raspberries and nettles — is really only good for a few scrambles a year. That’s not enough. I need to make big platters of nettle lasagna, dinners of nettle risotto, early spring nettle pesto. You get it.

We harvested A LOT of nettles recently and here’s my advice — gloves, scissors, bags and don’t bring the dog. The last part is difficult but please heed the warning. Ours whimpered for hours after because he stung his foot pads. Poor guy. We just kept soaking his feet in cold water and applying cortisone. You could tell it really hurt.

Don't forget your gloves...

Nettles as far as the eye can see.

On the positive side we made a lot of delicious things from our nettles and didn’t get hurt in the slightest. (Lots of risotto as you can see because we’ve been craving that with the cold, dark weather we’ve been having this spring.) Wear gloves when collecting and preparing nettles and remember that just a few minutes of cooking gets rid of the sting.

Golden beet and nettle risotto.

Nettle risoto finished with cream and asiago.

Sounds strange but this nettle tostada the next morning was awesome.

2 comments on “How to Forage for Nettles

  1. caroline on said:

    Oh my goodness … I watched a whole episode of River Cottage about foraging Nettles. This post is amazing. Liz, I never got around to thanking you for meeting with me, but THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  2. Liz Crain on said:

    Thanks Caroline! I want to see that episode! I look forward to harvesting them every year — and this year they are really going so it’s nice to spread the word. It was truly a pleasure to meet up with you too and talk all things food over a cup of joe. You’re great. Happy spring!

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