Saturday, 16 March 2013

eat your greens

I am a good girl - I eat my greens, (and I have very curly hair), but by the time it gets to March I am sick of cabbage.  The dark green crinkle of a Savoy that used to make me salivate in the supermarket produce section, now leaves me feeling slightly uninspired. I can still raise my enthusiasm for the irony bite of a bit of purple sprouting broccoli - but really I long for the soft new greens of spring, (and I refuse to buy them air freighted in from N Africa).

So today, after a quick flick through the foraging books, I set off to see what the hedgerows had to offer.  Started with a bit of surreptitious munching on new hawthorn leaves (okay in a nondescript sort of way), followed by another try at Good King Henry from the herb bed (bleurgh!), then I donned a fetching pair of latex gloves and collected a bag of stinging nettle tops.

wash well
pick leaves  - discard stalks

I have long been meaning to check out the delights of the humble nettle, but it's usually too late in the season by the time it occurs to me.  There's plenty of info about how fantastic they are nutritionally - packed with iron, calcium, vitamins A and C, as well loads of important trace elements.  They're also traditionally valued as a spring tonic with many medicinal uses - including increasing the amount of lead in a gentleman's pencil, and soothing the rages of a lady who may be suffering from a touch of Irritable Cow Syndrome.

But do they taste any good?

Wasn't feeling in a soupy mood so I decided to whip up a nettle omelette:

sweated onion, garlic and nettle tops in butter

Verdict:  Delicious! (in a slightly earthy, nutty kind of way). Will definitely be doing this again.

(I also made a pot of nettle tea which tasted exactly like Japanese Green Tea)


  1. i like the sound of this - i like earthy and nutty. i was telling bert about it this morning and he said it sounded disgusting. so there you go.x

    1. But it's not even fruit based! He'd like nettles if he just gave them a chance. Maybe you could blindfold him.

    2. yes. i could blindfold him for nettle based fun!