DIY Homemade Nettle Solutions
When served chilled, this is a truly refreshing and energizing drink. It is not a very hard drink to prepare, and can be a very welcome beverage in summer. Whip up this incredible brew and surprise family members and guests alike with the goodness of nettle.
What you need:
- 2 pounds of nettle tops (must be from young plants)
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 pound of Demerara sugar
- 2 large lemons
- Brewer’s yeast
- 1 quart Cream of Tartar
- Wash the nettles in cold water and sort.
- Place nettles in a saucepan. Add thinly sliced rinds of lemon and water.
- Bring to boil and then simmer the water for about 20 minutes.
- Strain the mixture. Add the strained liquid to one gallon water and add the sugar.
- Add the cream of tartar and cool.
- Add the yeast mixture when the solution reaches appropriate temperature. Also add the lemon at this stage.
- Pour the mixture into a demijohn, leave for 3 to 5 days.
- Cool off the mixture to stop the yeast’s action.
- Bottle the mixture into strong bottles. Make sure to use sturdy containers that will not burst under internal pressure.
- Serve chilled.
Any risotto is a difficult feat to get right, and this nettle risotto is no exception. However, if done right (which is very rare) this risotto can be very pleasing, with the nettle providing a unique taste.
What You Need:
- 1/4 lb nettles (from young plants)
- 1 oz of Arborio (risotto rice)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 6 cups of chicken stock
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper
- Wash and sort the nettle leaves. Blanch in boiling salt water for a few minutes.
- Drain the nettles and finely chop.
- Use half the butter to sauté the onions for a few minutes.
- Add in the nettle and cook for a few more minutes, stirring.
- Add in the rice and heat at a higher temperature for about 2 minutes.
- Add in the wine.
- Heat until the wine has evaporated.
- Pour in boiling chicken stock (heat it beforehand in a saucepan). First add a cup, and then keep pouring in half cup portions as the stock evaporates.
- Keep cooking for about 15 minutes, when the rice riches the ‘al dente’ consistency – soft but with a bite.
- Pour out the risotto and add in the remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper.
A cheerful nettle omelet is a perfect breakfast item, or a great snack for some hungry time. You can whip it out in no time at all, and the nettle really adds a different dimension to the egg.
Things you need:
- 2 large eggs
- Olive oil
- Mozzarella cheese
- A few nettle leaves, coarsely chopped
- A clove of garlic, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Sauté the nettle leaves and the garlic with olive oil.
- Beat the eggs to a smooth consistency.
- Add in the grated mozzarella cheese.
- Add in the garlic and the nettle leaves (cooled) and beat into the mixture until consistent.
- Heat oil in the frying pan and pour in the mixture. Fold and turn for the perfect omelet.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.
The nettle is a great, surprisingly useful herb. From its ancient European origins, it has consistently shown that behind unpleasant stinging exteriors often lie useful interiors.
Add nettle to your garden, but with care not to have it rule your yard. Experiment with the delicious nettle recipes and rediscover this great herb.