Stinging Nettle Chimichurry
Wild foods are highly nutritious!
Spring is the perfect time to collect wild nettles (Urtica dioica). They are just starting to leaf out and the plant is tender and tasty! I have made this simple green sauce multiple times this week to eat on top of baked sweet potatoes or homemade turkey meatballs.
Stinging nettle is a nutritional superfood! High in vitamins A, C, K, as well as several B vitamins, nettle offers valuable immune support. It is also a good source of calcium, iron and magnesium. Nettles contain silica, which will support your hair, skin and nails. They are also a great source of quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that is beneficial to lung health.
Foraging can be a fun activity to do in times of quarantine when you are trying to spend less time, (and energy) in the grocery store. A few tips on gathering wild nettles:
1. You can find them along rivers and streams- nettles like riparian habitat.
2. Don't pick them when they are flowering. Nettles that are flowering have a high concentration of calcium carbonate, which may irritate the bladder and kidneys.
3. Choose clean harvesting sites. Don't pick wild plant in potentially polluted areas or too close to the road where they may be dusted with exhaust fumes.
4. Skip the purple leaves. This is typically a sign that the plant is stressed. Although nutritionally acceptable, these leaves may have a more bitter flavor.
5. Use gloves! Kind of an important tip- stinging nettle is aptly named for the tiny barb-like hairs that inject irritating compounds (formic acid, histamine, acetylcholine, and serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) into your skin.
6. Only use raw nettles in recipes where they have been finely ground to neutralize the stinging hairs. If this makes you nervous, you can give them a light steam before incorporating them into a recipe.
*Pregnant women should avoid consuming stinging nettle due to it's ability to trigger uterine contractions.
1 bunch cilantro, (chop stems off)
1 bunch of Italian parsley, leaves picked from stems
~2 cups nettle leaves, packed
1/3 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic
juice of two small lemons
½ tsp sea salt
Add garlic, olive oil and lemon juice to a high speed blender followed by the greens and salt and blend until well combined. If using a vitamix it is helpful to use the damper attachment to press the greens down. Use on top of eggs, veggies, meats, or as a dip!
This page is not a subsitute for medical advice.