Focusing on my Physical Therapy Assistant program has meant zero income from my side of the equation since last autumn. Gwen and I have a deal: she brings home the bacon…I bring home the “A’s.” Of course, she likes to remind me of this imbalance whenever we are sharing a pots de creme at Chocolate Necessities and there is one spoonful left.
Today, sans test result, I managed to earn my keep.
Not unlike dandelions, “stinging nettle” (urtica dioica), is conventionally considered a pesky weed that really does give a good zap when you are donning shorts and veering from the center of the trail.
Like the bitter green in your backyard, it is highly nutritious and even medicinal.
See this article in Mother Earth News for more benefits and history.
And like the familiar spinach, it makes an excellent pesto!
There are ways of avoiding the sting when foraging this prevalent plant. Gloves are useful, but without those you can fold over the leaf from the top as shown below.
.I stuffed a doggy bag full of the leaves which filled a 3qt pot with steamer basket inside. Like all greens, they cook down in size and I ended up with a 1/2 plate full. I know, highly scientific. Sorry, I don’t cook by the book.
Nettle Pesto by Alpine Mystic:
- 1/2 plate lightly steamed nettle
- 1/2 plate fresh basil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
- 1 handful parmesan
- Several glugs high quality olive oil
- Himalayan pink salt to taste
- Fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 1 squeeze of fresh lemon
Spread on salmon or dip with a crunchy carrot if you are gluten-free like me!By the way, nettles were $14/lb at the Bellingham Farmer’s Market last weekend. So, I guess I made a decent wage this afternoon!