nettles

my friend lauren had a nasty patch of stinging nettles in her backyard, and offered to let us take them home and cook them in exchange for help clearing them.  a few nettle-stings later, we had a keg-sized bucket filled with greens.  after hours of processing, we had tubs full of de-stinged nettles, ready for freezing and making things. rough recipes below:

nettle-mango smoothie: (variants on) water, mango, nettles, yogurt, banana, ricemilk, honey

pesto:

2 cups stinging nettles, blanched and strained (not completely pressed – they get too dense)
1/3 cup raw walnuts
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
handful-ish of basil or other herbs (i made some w/rosemary and some w/sage), for flavor
lemon juice & salt and pepper, to taste

soup: I made meatballs to go in and then a basic italian wedding soup, subbing nettles for spinach. after the soup is cooked, I drop in a raw egg and stir quickly and serve w/romano cheese.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
~16 oz blanched nettles
broth (chicken is best) to cover

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