Nettles grow wild in our yard. No soil preparation
No buying seeds
No worry where they came from Just be grateful that they grow in your yard. Freely! How cool is that!? So, we harvest them and enjoy! Nettles are stinging to the skin, if you dont know that yet.
Collect them with gloves, there is a reason they are called stinging nettles.
Get a shopping bag and go get them. No need of fancy shmancy herbalist’s basket, plastic shopping bag from Walmart is fine.
Yea yea, i shop at walmart, we dont have many options living on Kenai Peninsula
I collect only top two leaves parts, when you look at the plant you’ll see what i mean, the top two and the second two leaves. Because they are the youngest and not occupied by aphids yet. Just snap it with your fingers, no scissors needed, the tops are still very young and easy to snap off.
Then, take it home to your kitchen.
Put them in bowls, i use stainless steel bowls.
Then, blanch them in hot water for about 1 min, no need to set a timer.
Mix them up while you pouring boiling water, so they are all evenly blanched. Never mind the fermenting cucumbers in the picture, im usually multitasking.
And then drain the water. Pour the whole bowl over the sieve.
Now, wait until they are cooled, i usually take sieves outside so the wind cools them fast.
After nettles are cooled, i chop them and put them into ziplock bags or if you have a vacuum put them in vacuum bags and freeze it. Frozen nettles stay very well, they retain the flavor and texture for a long time, i had them in my freezer for 3 years and they were just fine.
It is so convenient to have those for later, i prepare quite a lot like that.
What do i do with them? A few things, i usually saute them with onions first:
1. i saute them with onions to serve as a side dish with fish or any other meal. 2. i saute them with onions and then pour scrambled egg over the top to make an omelette or frittata.
3. i saute them with onions to make stuffing for crepes. 4. i saute them with onions first to use them in a stew 5. Or i make purred soup, for that particular soup i dont always saute them, but make sure i chop them, so when it blends the fibers are broken and not left in strings.
Sometimes, if i dont have time i freeze them unchopped
Nettles purred soup recipe:
Saute onions in a pot, the same as i’ll make soup.
Add chopped potatoes and/or cauliflower, parsnips, saute another few mins.
Add broth (fish, chicken, beef, etc) season with salt, white pepper, cook until potatoes are done.
Add chopped nettles. Cook for about 5 mins.
Add coconut cream or regular cream
Blend with hand held blender. Taste, adjust seasoning and enjoy!