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.
|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)