M (ethelfleda) wrote in vegancooking,

Stinging nettles and rhubarb

Stinging nettles are starting to crop up in my garden, and are apparently at their best at this time of year. Pick with tough gloves on (so no stings), wash, and boil for a few minutes in plenty of water. The boiling destroys the sting. You can then use them as you would cooked spinach; the flavour is a bit different, but I can't think of any recipies where it would spoil it to use nettle rather than spinach. Also, like spinach they get quite a bit smaller when you cook them, so you may need quite a few.

Nettles are a great free food, and if you don't have your own garden you might well be able to get some; most people are quite happy if people take their nettles away for them!

I had some stewed rhubarb with my nettle lasagne, and there's a tip from my mum so they don't disintegrate: Put the rhubarb in the pan with the syrup you're going to stew them in. Bring to the boil without stirring, then immediately take them off the heat and put a lid on the pan. Leave them for about 10-15 minutes; they'll cook very nicely in the residual heat and not break up.
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