Stinging nettle is a wild “super food.” According to the Homestead Laboratory, its nutrient content rivals that of spinach with higher levels of vitamin A, protein, and calcium.
I gather it in spring when the leaves and stems are tender. Wear gloves and use shears in the field to gather stinging nettle and handle it with tongs in the kitchen. After it is blanched in boiling water, the “sting” goes away.
Take note that stinging nettle does shrink down like spinach when cooked, so gather more than you think you need. To enjoy your harvest throughout the year, squeeze out as much water as possible after blanching, and then freeze in zip-top bags for short-term storage or vacuum-sealed bags to keep it longer. You can then use this wild vegetable like you would frozen spinach. It’s especially delicious in egg dishes.
- 1 cup stinging nettles, blanched, wrung, and chopped
- 1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup grated Romano cheese
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp. seasoned salt, plus extra
- Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
- Tortilla chips
Also works with
To prepare fresh stinging nettles, bring a pot of water to a boil. Using tongs to handle the nettles, blanch young leaves and stems until wilted—about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Then drain and squeeze out as much water as possible. Roughly chop wrung nettles.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except mozzarella cheese. Season to taste. Spray an oven-proof ramekin or dip bowl and transfer cold dip into it. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes, or until heated through and top becomes toasty.
Serve hot with tortilla chips. You can also prepare this dip and keep warm in a mini slow cooker.