Monday, March 8, 2010


I love it! Shareholders in Beachwood Canyon and Silverlake have sent in some amazing recipes to share for what to make with nettles. Lauren at made nettles her Food of the Month.

Below are three recipes: nettle soup, spicy nettle pesto and nettle gnocchi. Below that: nutrition information from


Julie says: My husband is french and a professional chef; he was very happy to see Nettles in the box two weeks in a row.
In France, they use them a lot and he claims were quite popular during wartime.
He has made this soup for us the past two weeks and the color is a beautiful vibrant green!

The recipe is simple to make and similar to that of Michael's (on the blog) but with the added ingredients of potatoes and oregano....

SOUPE D' ORTIE (Stinging Nettles soup)

Stinging Nettles
Potatoes (we used Yukon Gold) cut in cubes
Creme Fraiche (or sour cream)
Salt, pepper, oregano
Garlic Croutons

Wearing GLOVES, cut off the leaves of the nettles and rinse in a colander. Melt butter in a skillet and add the leaves. Once the leaf color begins to change add the potatoes and water to cover. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are done. Puree with food processor or blender. Add salt, pepper, oregano and creme fraiche and warm slightly over low flame. Add garlic croutons .......voila!

Thanks for everything Tara, we are very much enjoying being a part of the CSA!

All the best,
Julie Simms


This from Sunita: I didn't use a recipe really but here is what I did for Spicy Nettle Pesto:

- place a few garlic cloves and serrano peppers in a food processor (peppers are optional if you don't want to make it spicy) along with about 1/2 cup of pine nuts

- run the food processor until the mixture is diced

- cut off tough stems of the nettles and chop about half of the bunch roughly

- add chopped nettles to food processor along with a handful of basil

- run the processor again to dice the greens

- stop the processor and scrape down the sides.

- add salt, pepper to taste and grated parmesan cheese (at least 1/2 cup but probably closer to 2/3 or 3/4)

- start running the food processor again; slowly pour in olive oil while the blades are running until you have a smooth paste


Hey, I thought I'd pass along this recipe I tried last night. I halved the quantities, used as many nettle leaves as I could pick off and added mushrooms and italian sausage to the sauce. The herbs in the cream sauce really complimented the gnocchi well! I wouldn't make this every night due to the prep time required for the nettles and the rolling/cutting of the gnocchi, but it was fun to try something new.


Green Nettle Gnocchi with Cream and Fresh Herbs – Recipe
Gnocchi Verdi con panna ed erbette
Ingredients – Serves 6

* 800g (1lb 12 oz) waxy potatoes
* 800g (1lb 12oz) young green nettle leaves
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten
* 50g (½ cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* About 200g (70z) plain (all purpose) flour
* 50g (1¾ oz) butter
* 1 tablespoon each of these fresh chopped herbs: Tarragon, sage, mint, basil, thyme and parsley
* A splash of good-quality brandy
* 250ml (1 cup) thick (single) cream
* About 120g (1¼ cups) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve


1. Wash the potatoes and boil them in their skins in lightly salted
water for 15-20 minutes, being careful not to overcook them. Drain and
when cool enough to handle, peel them. Pass the potatoes through a
food mill – or grate them through the large holes of a grater, into a
wide bowl.

2. Wearing gloves, rinse the nettles in a couple of changes of cold
water, then boil for a couple of minutes in lightly salted water.
Drain well and when cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess
water with your hands. Chop finely on a wooden board and mix into the
potatoes. Add the egg and the Parmesan cheese, then season with salt
and pepper. Add enough flour to make a soft and elastic dough, mixing
with your hands.

3. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Lightly
flour your work surface. Working quickly, break off pieces of the
dough and roll out into long cylindrical strands of about 1 cm (½
inch) in diameter. Cut these strands into pieces at about 2cm (¾ inch)
intervals with a sharp knife. Put them onto a lightly floured tray or
large plate until you are ready to cook them.

4. Cook the prepared gnocchi in batches in the boiling water for
about 2-3 minutes. When they float to the surface they are ready. Keep
the gnocchi in a buttered oven dish if you will not be mixing them
immediately into the sauce.

5. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the herbs and sauté for
a minute or so to flavour the butter. Add the brandy, cook for another
minute, then add the cream. Heat through until it bubbles up.

6. Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon or wire strainer,
allowing the water to drain off and add them to the saucepan. Toss to
coat evenly. You can add a little hot milk, or some of the cooking
water to thin it out if necessary, though it should not be too liquid.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.


Dense nutrition, very little calories: a perfect combination! Nettles join the ranks of kale, spinach, and romaine – touting lots of vitamins and minerals without the expense of a high-caloric intake.

Nettles are rich in potassium, Vitamins A, B & C, iron and sulfur (great for hair, skin and nails!). Nettles offer appetite suppressing qualities as it releases two neurotransmitters serotonin and acetylcholine. Finally they possess diuretic properties alleviating water-weight, releasing toxins and purifying the blood.

Try nettles in place of spinach - in spanikopita, mixed with hearty grains, a healthy “spinach” dip, or in a soup chockfull of vegetables. (Note: Stinging nettles require care when handling, so use gloves to chop off stems and boil).

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