If you’ve ever hiked along wooded paths or spent time on a farm, chances are you’re familiar with stinging nettles– in a most unpleasant of way. These tall, herbaceous plants are known in the scientific community as different variations of the Urtica species, derived from the Latin word uro, which means ‘I burn.’ Definitely not something you would want on a plate.
Nettles don’t give up their armor easily, so in the process of taking the nettles from the ground to the stove, it’s imperative to wear gloves. When exposed to heat, however, the vicious stinging hairs that burn your hands and legs in the wilderness simply disintegrate. What’s left is a mild-flavored, nutrient-packed green. These lovely-looking vegetables will continue burning until they’ve been cooked into a beautiful, bright green mound.
Stinging nettles can be used just as any other greens, sauteed or steamed for use in pastas, to top bruschetta, or as an easy side with onions and a little garlic. We especially like them in our Stinging Nettle Tagliatelle.