Sunday, November 13, 2011

You Wish It, I Dish It: Nettle Request

In a comment on my last post, Hunger Tallest Palin, snark-meister and Rumproast contributor (heh, that's some real Redundancy Department of Redundancy material right there) asked:

BTW - Care to post a picture of the edible nettles for those of us who like to forage?

Seeing that it is pitch dark and I am likely to be eaten by a grue unable to get a good photo of my nettle patch, I will defer to a foraging expert who has some beautiful pictures of nettles. Of course, when in doubt as to whether or not a plant is a stinging nettle, one can always brush one's hand up against the plant... if it hurts, it'll be delicious! This cack-handed, but effective, technique should never be employed in New Zealand.

Back in peak spring nettle season, I posted a video about edible nettles. I typically treat the nettles in the same manner I treat spinach- a particularly fine dish is creamed nettles served on toast, and topped by a fried egg. Typically, I'll saute half an onion in butter, add a tablespoon of flour and make a simple roux, then add milk, half-and-half, or cream (depending on where I fall on the "guilt" and "ambition" axes in the culinary realm) to form a simple bechamel sauce. I add the parboiled nettles, cook them through in the bechamel sauce, then let it cool enough so I can throw it all in the food processor for a serious pureeing. Like I said, put on toast, and topped with a fried egg, it's an incredible dish. I have also made a spanakopita knockoff with nettles, nettle malfatti, and fettucini with a nettle-cream sauce. Whenever a dish calls for spinach, nettles can make a good substitute.

I typically eat nettles once or twice a week in the spring, before the flowers appear. In the summer, I shift to purslane, wild grape leaves, and lamb's quarters as far as the wildfood consumption goes.

16 comments:

vacuumslayer said...

Now, how do snark blogs work? I sure wish there were someone here named Dennis who could help me out.

vacuumslayer said...

I have also made a spanakopita knockoff with nettles


Do you find it hard to work with Phyllo dough? I'm kind of afraid of it.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Now, how do snark blogs work?

They work kinda like hot tub clubs.

Do you find it hard to work with Phyllo dough? I'm kind of afraid of it.

It's not that hard once you get used to it. Keep it from drying out by covering it with a slightly damp towel, and work fast- I use a small paintbrush to "paint" each sheet with a warm mixture of olive oil and butter, before placing the next sheet on top. Also, your fillings shouldn't be too wet or things can get soggy.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Is it too hot in the hot tub, or is it just me?
~

vacuumslayer said...

Yup, I know the damp towel trick. I know I'll try it some day. But I'm the type of person who frets all day about using ready-made pizza dough. Yes, I am that askeert of baking and baking-adjacent things.

BTW, I hope Hunger Tallest Palin lets us know how the nettles turn out. I'm really curious to see how it goes.

Laura said...

Gawd, I hate hot tubs! It's way too hot in the hot tub for me!
I last about 2 minutes. :)

Anyhoo... these nettles sound delish. You remind me of my Dad. He was always using weeds/plants in dishes. Back in the day, I turned my nose up at them. I think I'd give them a try now.(that I'm a somewhat mature adult);P

((Hugs))
Laura

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

BBBB is like Euell Gibbons' weird son....

vacuumslayer said...

Someone like Euell Gibbons sounds like s/he should have only weird sons.

Smut Clyde said...

1000 quatloos to the first person to upload a "Heavy Nettle -- Black & Silver" video to Youtuba!

Another Kiwi said...

For Mr. Bastard let me know if you want some of these competitors to go away.

Smut Clyde said...

From AK's New Yorker link:
the giant rutabagas, or swedes, as the English call them, that children in Northern Europe carve into jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween.

Like fuck they do. Someone has taken advantage of a reporter's credulity to see how much tosh will be passed on. Shame, I say, Shame!

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Someone like Euell Gibbons sounds like s/he should have only weird sons.

I'll bet his kids all subsist mainly on McNuggets.

For Mr. Bastard let me know if you want some of these competitors to go away.

You gonna slip them some NZ death nettles?

Like fuck they do.

Yeah, real Northern Europeans hollow out the body of a Swede and put a candle inside the ribcage. The custom was started by Hardrada.

Von said...

Here we go with the purslane again....

Smut Clyde said...

Yeah, real Northern Europeans hollow out the body of a Swede and put a candle inside the ribcage.

The neighbourhood was not well-pleased with my Blood Eagle display.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Here we go with the purslane again....

Don't be baggin' on the purslane, missy!

The neighbourhood was not well-pleased with my Blood Eagle display.

I think they were more upset with last year's "kakapo fucking some guy's head" display.

Another Kiwi said...

"HA HA Snorri, tell him we carve the Rutabagas."
"Ha ha no one would believe that..."