[NAFEX] [off topic] Foraging

Hélène Dessureault interverbis at videotron.ca
Fri Apr 27 12:51:40 EDT 2007

I also dry nettles to add to soups and stews.  I have a collection of garden
gloves, and this is definitely an occasion for gloves. After a few hours of
wilting the plant is less aggressive, when you prepare it in the kitchen.
But if you have a large quantity, might as well continue wearing gloves to
avoid the irritation. There are minute hairs under the leaves that are
responsible for the stinging. You can see them if you look close or with a
magnifying glass.

My favorite Spring recipe is Nettle Vichyssoise (potatoes, leeks and
nettles). Stinging nettles is also very tasty with sour cream. I agree with
all the other recipes listed by Donna below.  The taste is special.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Donna &/or Kieran" <holycow at cookeville.com>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 10:36 AM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] [off topic] Foraging

> Dylan,
>     I've drunk nettle tea many times, bought from the health food store.
> I've talked with a Tennessee couple who grow lots of nettles to dry to add
> to soups and stews for the winter.  But all we've ever done with ours is
> them fresh, usually in a stew or quiche or with eggs.  The way I pick them
> is to wear gloves, or sometimes just a glove on the hand holding the
> clippers.  With the ungloved hand I take hold of the tip of a leaf, clip
> the top of the plant, maybe 2-4 pairs of leaves down, and drop it into my
> cooking pan.  When full, I take it to the stove and pour hot water over
> nettles.  After 5 minutes of cooking they are ready to be chopped and
> to a quiche or have some other omelet ingredients added.   Be sure to pour
> the cooking water into cups to drink, heavenly.  You might want to add
> and butter to it, or a bit of boullion, or make some kind of Japanese
> soup from it  Or for stew, just start adding the rest of the ingredients.
> One of the best things about having nettles in the garden (not running
> like in England where I cussed them frequently, but in a single patch)  is
> that they are perennials.  They come on early in the spring before the
> spring planted greens, and are a welcome change from the overwintered
> brassicas.  Then in the autumn, after the heat of summer it seems to be
> to mow them down when they have gone to seed and are looking, well, seedy,
> and then they spring back up in the autumn rains, ready to eat again.
>      You know, nettles are supposed to be good for hayfever.  Our local
> health food store does a brisk business with rather expensive freeze dried
> nettle capsules for customers who can't abide the side effects of
> antihistamines.  (Never mind fruit trees.  Our fruit crop is toast, but
> nettles look great.)  They also are used to make a beer that my husband
> turned out very well for him decades ago when he made some.  Bright green
> too, save a few bottles for St. Patrick's Day.  Donna
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