It’s the season! Stinging nettles are sprouting up everywhere, and the fight for most gardeners is on. But did you know that you can actually eat stinging nettles? They’re amazingly good, a bit like spinach, but with a bite. Last weekend we were staying with my husband’s parents in the countryside and my father-in-law barehanded picked me a colander full of stinging nettles, which I used for a nettle-ricotta quiche. Delicious!! If you want to try picking stinging nettles yourself, then know that the nettles only sting if you touch the the leaves from above, so try picking them from below. Wearing thin (cotton) gloves will also help. Just pick the tops of the new plants (top 4 leaves), these are the juiciest, and to avoid pollution it’s better to avoid those nettle growing along busy roads.
Here’s the recipe for the nettle quiche I made:
- puff pastry (from supermarket)
- a colander full of stinging nettles, rinsed
- one (fairly large) onion
- few cloves of garlic
- 250 g ricotta
- 4 eggs
- 100 g grates cheese (old gouda or cheddar)
- some milk (about half a cup)
- pepper and salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease pie pan and line with the puff pastry. Saute onions with garlic in olive oil, add nettles and gently fry for about 5 minutes on a low heat, stirring regularly to avoid burning them.
In a large bowl, mix the ricotta with the eggs, the grated cheese and some milk. Add the onion/nettle mixture, add some salt and pepper and pour the mixture in the pie pan. I decorated the quiche with some leftover puff pastry. Bake for about 40 minutes or until brown.