What we consider to be a nasty weed, that grows in every corner of urban or wild spaces and stings us on top it, is the stinging nettle. The leaves and stems are covered with hollow stinging hairs called trichomes. They act like hypodermic needles, injecting histamine and other chemicals producing a stinging sensation when we touch them.
They have a flavor a bit to spinach and are rich in vitamin A and C, Iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium. So voilà! Everything we need in a weed!
Now they are in bloom and full of seeds! The seeds have protein too and taste nutty. You can throw them into a salad or simply caramelize them quickly in a fraying pan with a bit of sugar or honey. Simply wonderful!
(ha!, I have been eating lots of them in the last couple of weeks and recently had my blood checked. The doctor asked my why my blood is so iron rich, if I'm eating a lot of meat these days?)
Summer salad with wild herb salad, cornflower leaves, black currants, caramalised nettle seeds and cucumber.
We started out with a clear vegetable summer soup, simple boiling the stock vegetables and straining them. The color come from a heirloom carot and some fresh parsley roots gave a wonderful taste. A batavia salad with caramelized nettles was a highlight. I picked the nettles the day before. There are everywhere now full with seeds. They grow higher then myself (so there is no way that dog or man can do their business on them). The main course were nettle barley burgers on a fresh herb pesto and cod. And since it's berry season, how can we not make a berry tart, with berries piled high and cassis infused whipped cream.
Very proud of my students! this time from New Mexico, Mexico City, Norway and Düsseldorf.