Monday, August 06, 2007

nettles anyone?

The lushest crop in my garden right now are self-seeded nettles. More worryingly they first showed their little faces at the beginning of winter - note in these parts of the world the urticas are a spring herb. They've held their own through these chilly months, actually they've thrived and I am left wondering - is there anything edible I can do with them?

Fresh nettles are great for hayfever but the allergy season hasn't started. It's also an iron rich, skin friendly tea. But food? Nettle soup is the obvious choice - has anyone ever actually eaten it and can describe the flavour? I'd be thinking a vegan version: nettles, good vege stock and a potato to thicken it. Ideas please!

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Anonymous chaifiend said...

what about nettle beer? Haven't tried it myself, but apparently quite easy to make, 'refreshing' and good for arthritis and the gout!
Hmmmm...but they always say that about traditional-folksy-boozy tipples...good excuses to get well and truly stonkered on the home-brew

10:41 pm  
Anonymous tomplum said...

It would be lovely with some watercress thrown in the soup too, with perhaps a good slosh of walnut oil...

10:58 pm  
Blogger Ed said...

I love nettles and wish I could find some young ones like that. Just use as you would Spinach. Jelous.

9:07 am  
Anonymous Kathryn said...

No, I've never had nettle soup either, but I'm very jealous of your crop. Both Jamie Oliver and The River Cafe cookbook (green) have recipes for nettle pasta - tagliatelle with nettles and parmesan (RCC) and ravioli of nettles, marjoram and ricotta in Jamie.

They're such an English thing, didn't realise you could even get them here in Australia.


5:42 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Nettle beer sound..interesting. I was on a boat trip around Fiordland (NZ), in parts following Captain Cooks journey. At one place he set up a temporary brewery in the bush using one of the local plants. For some commemorative festival the committe thought it would be a good idea to use the same recipe and make a few dozen bottles of the stuff. It was undrinkable by all accounts!

Using it like watercress or spinach are great ideas. I just have to get to it before it goes to seed.

Kathryn it is growing literally like a weed in my Melbourne garden. Though I've lived in other houses in the area and never seen it before. Perhaps it is just nature detoxing the inner city soil? Whatever I do to the garden - it grows back every year.

ED - if i can't use it all before it ends - i'll drop you an email to see if you want the surplus.

8:35 am  

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