8 ways to use nettles in the kitchen

The same nettle that burns feet on a forest walk has long been successfully used in cooking. This nutritious herb, reminiscent of spinach in taste, becomes a jade hue when cooked. What is so remarkable about nettle, which we consider a weed?

A cup of nettle leaves contains 37 calories, 2 g of protein and 6 g of fiber. In addition, it is more than a third of the daily value of vitamin A, 8% of the recommended daily intake of iron (twice that of spinach) and 42% of the daily value of calcium. All leafy greens (especially spinach, chard, and beet greens) are rich in calcium, but are not well absorbed due to their high oxalic acid content. Nettle is devoid of this shortcoming. It is also rich in vitamin C and helps the absorption of iron of plant origin.

Nettle grows in fertile uncultivated soil, often in forests, near hayfields, hedges, along river banks. Collect for food you need early leaves, before flowering has begun. Be careful when collecting, put on trousers, a long-sleeved shirt and gloves. Use scissors to collect leaves. Young nettle shoots are more tender and bite less. Plants growing along high traffic roads or in polluted areas should be avoided.

Nettle can be soaked in water, boiled or dried to stop burning the skin. After that, it is ready for use.

Dried nettles can be ground in a blender and stored in cereal jars, used as a nutritional supplement to various dishes. Branches should be dried in one layer for at least 12 hours. Can be dried in the sun by laying between two clean, lint-free towels.

Mix dried nettles with good salt, black pepper, and your other favorite herbs in a coffee grinder. It is even better to add flax or sesame seeds to such a mixture.

Take a large saucepan, bring salted water to a boil and lower the nettles for 30 seconds until they turn bright green. Refrigerate immediately. Remove excess moisture with a paper towel and the nettle is ready to use. Below are a number of ways to eat nettles.


  • Instead of spinach in any pasta. Can be used to make lasagna.

  • Instead of basil in pesto sauce, or mixed with basil in half

  • Make nettle oil. Pour finely chopped nettles with unsalted vegetable oil, add salt and pepper. Store in refrigerator or freeze. Great for steamed vegetables.
  • In green smoothies. Add a handful of boiled or raw nettles. Do not be afraid that she will bite her tongue – you will not even feel her taste.
  • Stuffed mushrooms. Saute shallots in olive oil with dried herbs. Add finely chopped raw nettles and breadcrumbs, fry until the nettles turn green. Remove from heat, add lemon zest, a handful of grated parmesan, and fill mushroom caps with all this. Bake until golden brown.
  • For a quick everyday lunch, make quinoa and nettle patties. They are seasoned with other seasonal herbs, salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle pizza with nettle greens. Show your imagination.
  • Make a casserole. Mix 2 cups cooked rice with 1 cup pureed nettle, 1 garlic clove, ½ cup chopped onion, a little black pepper. Pour into a greased pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Although the nettle is a modest plant, it has a delicious taste. She deserves to take pride of place in the kitchen. Frozen or dry, it can be used all year round.




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