Monday, 21 May 2012

Nettle Up-date

Remember my weed and nettle post from ages ago? Back then I promised that there would be an update "shortly", by that I didn't mean two months later. The reason for the delay is that I simply forgot. I just discovered the pictures on my laptop in a folder named something that would never suggest that the content was nettle related. Anyway, now that I've found them I might as well show you what happened to all those nettles.

Soup
I used a very big handful of nettles, a big handful of sticky weed and a handful of mixed herbs from my garden to make this very green soup.


I washed and finely chopped the greens.


Then I fried a finely diced onion in a little rapeseed oil, added a diced potato and some vegetable stock before adding the greens. After bringing the soup to a boil, I simmered it for about 10 minutes, then blitzed it and added a spoonful of home made yoghurt.


The result: something nice enough for me to say I'd have that again.



Pesto
For my nettle pesto I blanched some nettles for about 2 minutes in boiling water (to take the sting away) and then squeezed out as much water as possible.

I put the nettles in a food processor, along with some garlic, chopped walnuts, grated Parmesan cheese, a little salt and a good splash of olive oil.


This is what it looked like once processed:


It tastes delicious on toast ...


... and mixed with pasta.


Definitely something I'll make again.

Cordial
I cooked another batch of nettles for quite some time in the slow cooker in order to make some cordial.


After straining out the liquid, I added loads of sugar to it and filled the resulting cordial into sterilised bottles.


Definitely something I'll never make again as it tastes really horrible, but I guess that's a lesson learned. As I don't want to throw it away and I also don't want to drink it, I thought I'd give the concoction another chance by trying to turn it into wine, but so far it's refusing to ferment, so I guess it will have to go.

Beer
Last, but not least I made some nettle beer using this recipe. This actually turned out much nicer than expected (after the cordial failure). 

Boiling the nettles:


"Harvesting" the liquid:


Looking less pleasant:


All bottled:


And enjoying it:


It's a rather unusual taste, but not in a bad way, it's quite refreshing.

That's it, these were my adventures in nettles. 
After all that I can't believe I still haven't dried any nettles for tea, so I think I'll be going out to harvest some more nettles soon.

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