Be inspired by ♥ Nettle

The stinging nettle is a cold tolerant herbaceous perennial growing to 1.2m, with coarsely toothed, oval leaves armed with stinging hairs. Tiny green male and female flowers are borne on separate plants, the pendulous branched inflorescences emerging directly from the upper nodes of the square stems. The spreading roots are yellow. The young leaves are rich in minerals, particularly potassium, calcium, silicon and iron, and also contain Vitamin C.

 

Classified into 5 subspecies, nettle is indigenous to much of the temperate northern hemisphere. As an introduced plant, it is widespread in the temperate southern hemisphere.

Nettle prefers full sun to light shade and thrive in a rich, moist soil that is high in nitrogen. Plant seed in spring or if you are brave, by division of plants in spring.

In addition to spring picking, harvest in midsummer and again in autumn, and always wear gloves to protect your hands. Dig up the roots in autumn and air dry them with the tops out of direct sunlight.

The young leaves were once widely used in the spring diet to revitalize the body after winter. For culinary purposes, use leaf tips from plants less than 10cm high, as these have yet to develop the stinging compounds. Nettle leaves may be cooked as a vegetable, in similar ways to spinach, or added to soups or to vegetable, egg or meat dishes. A tisane can be made from the leaves. Do not eat nettles raw; also note that older leaves are high in calcium oxalate and should not be eaten at all.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

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Tandy

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About Tandy

Tandy is passionate about using regional, seasonable and sustainable produce when she cooks. She lives in Gordons Bay in a cottage with her husband, two dogs, a tortoise and a fish. Tandy and Dave are busy building a house which is an adventure all in itself. Each year they visit a new place to experience the food of the area and you can follow along on their adventures.


Comments

Nettle — 20 Comments

  1. I’ve heard of stinging nettle before but have never actually tasted it! Thanks for all this info.

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    • I would taste the tea for sure 🙂

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  2. As always, very interesting, Tandy!

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    • thanks Pink (I see you have your name up now – next step a photo xox) 🙂

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  3. Hmm….nettle tisane. One to try once, I think, just to see! To me nettles are a bit like wasps, I can’t envisage planting them- but now I have read of all the goodies in the leaves, perhaps I should reconsider, Tandy!

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    • I would be afraid to plant them – but I would forage for them if they grew close to where I lived 🙂

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  4. What an interesting post! I had a nettle quiche once and it was delicious. I’d love to try nettle tea. It is definitely underrated.

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    • That quiche sounds like something I would try – thanks for the visit 🙂

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  5. Hubby loves nettle tea but I never knew this much about nettle! 😀

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    • I would love to try nettle tea – I will have to look out for it when we are in the UK 🙂

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  6. I always read in books about cliched people being stung by nettle as the rain fell 😉
    Good to know more about it thank you 🙂

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    • I would end up being one of those people 🙂

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  7. Interesting, not sure I have ever thought of cooking with nettle before.
    🙂 Mandy

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    • I would love to try, but I don’t know about foraging for them 🙂

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  8. Each year when the nettles are young and tender I keep meaning to make things with them…but never mond, the horses and donkeys round here love them!

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    • It is amazing that they don’t get stung!

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  9. Nettles appear to be used quite a lot in stuffed pasta in Italian cuisine and I see “les orties” appear in French menus. However, there’s something in the nature of stinging nettles that doesn’t make me want to include them in my diet:)

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    • I would be brave enough to try as ling as someone else picks them 🙂

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  10. I’ve always thought of nettles as weeds. Glad to know that these plants which stung me as a child, do have a use. 😉

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    • I have tried yarg which is a cheese wrapped in nettles and that was a good use 🙂

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