Cooking up an afternoon snack today. I’m stir frying some stinging nettles I picked from the back yard. It’s an experiment. I was reading ‘Carrots Love Tomatoes’ and flipped to the section on wild edibles.
They talk about stinging nettle and how nutritional it is for humans. Also, it helps tomatoes grow better, among other plants, and the dried plant fed to chickens apparently increases egg production.
Anyway, a robust crop of nettles has recently popped up in the top corner of our yard, so today after reading the book, and after hearing all my life that nettles are edible, I decided to give it a try. Luke’s into it too because he recently visited some people who fed him nettle tea and nettle soup.
I’m doing it stir fry style, so hopefully that will work to remove the formic acid in the stem and leaves, which is what makes it sting.
So far, they smell pretty tasty!
This pan-full has cooked down from the first picture at the beginning, but this isn’t the whole bag of nettles. I added more, plus some butter, garlic salt and water. I tried a mouthful at the above pictured stage, a little nervously. I was a bit concerned that my throat and tongue might get hives if i hadn’t cooked it enough, but I feel good and it’s been mroe than 5 minutes. Nettles usually cause a rash as soon as they touch me, so I think I’m safe.
I also minced and added a stem of horsetail that I found as well, just to add some more nutrition in the form of silica.
Anyway, I’m cooking as I write. We just tried some of the cooked nettle, with garlic salt, butter, water, chili oil and chopped horsetail, and it is delicious, just like any other stir fried green. I think I’ll make another batch and use balsamic vinegar too.
Guess all these years Dad was right about nettles!
Oh, and Luke’s comment after tasting them?
“Girlfriend, that’s free food!”
I call the afternoon snack with a bite experiment a success!