Harvesting Wild Nettles

This is the time of year for nettles. They grow abundantly in the Pacific Northwest and are one of the earliest available wild greens in the spring.  Pick plants with gloves when they are young and harvest only the tops. Nettles are safe to eat after they have been blanched for several minutes.  They're practical to make with pasta because you can use the boiling water for both.

Nettle Pesto & Marinara

Wild harveseted nettles make a great pesto. This batch had a pound of blanched nettles, garlic, salt, toasted walnuts, extra virgin olive oil, and a slice of provolone cheese.  Pouring a thin layer of olive oil on top has preservative effects.

You can also make a great marinara with nettles.  Sautee an onion with garlic, pepper, and herbs.    In a blender puree 1 or 2 large cans of tomatoes with chopped blanched nettles and add back to the onion garlic sautee.

Nettles are very practical to make with pasta because you can reuse the boiling water for blanching the nettles for the pasta.

Nettle Soup

I made this wonderful nettle soup with several pounds of blanched nettles, two sautéed onions with garlic, and some veggie stock.  All then pureed in the blender.