Spring is here! Around here the cherry blossoms are in full bloom the Tulips and Irises are starting to emerge and the humming birds are loudly calling from the tree tops, all sure signs that spring is finally here. One of my favorite early signs of spring is the fresh Stinging Nettle that is ready for harvest.
Here is my recipe for Stinging Nettle Potato Biscuits. Keep reading below for more tips for the recipe, as well as how to blanch Stinging Nettle.
Stinging nettle grows from early spring to late summer. However, it’s only in early spring that it’s tender enough to be eaten. When the plant is still young, only a foot or so tall you can harvest the first few leaves from the top. They can be added to anything that you might add spinach to. They just need to be washed and blanched or steamed gently first.
Anyone searching the internet for stinging nettle recipes is probably already aware of the benefits of stinging nettle. Not only is it chock full of readily absorbed vitamins but it also helps with inflammation, blood sugar levels, circulation and so much more. Even the sting of the stinging nettle is used topically by some to treat chronic pain.
For our purposes here though it’s a wild growing, abundant and tasty food source.
Where to get Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle can be grown from seed, foraged or sometimes even bought from the farmers market. I’d love to grow it but with tiny babies running around I’ve decided now is not the time. For now we get it mainly from the farmers market with some foraging when we come across it.
I like to cook in season, growing, foraging and shopping at farmer’s markets facilitates this. While I am grateful to have grocery store stocked with whatever foods we want year round, I take great satisfaction in foods that really speak to the seasons. Nettles are one of those truly seasonal foods. They taste like spring, green, fresh, earthy and good for the soul.
How to Blanch Stinging Nettle
When using stinging nettle start by rinsing it in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes. This will take away most of the sting. Then, transfer it to a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. While it’s boiling prepare a bowl of cold water and ice. When the time is up move the nettles into the bowl to quickly bring the temperature down. This will stop it from cooking any further.
I blanch them in the little bunches that I’ve picked them in then remove the stems after they are cooled.
Notes on how to make stinging nettle potato biscuits
This recipe used approximately 1/2 cup of blanched and gently squeezed out nettles. The number is approximate because it can be hard to judge how much you’ll need when it’s fresh. A little bit over or under isn’t a big deal; as long as most of the liquid is being squeezed out it won’t make a huge difference. Dice up the Stinging Nettle in whatever size you like, for the sake of the kids I dice ours up fairly small.
The consistency of the dough should be fairly bread like but a little bit sticky, just enough that it can be gently kneaded without sticking to everything but still a bit tacky to the touch.
It can be split into ball and rolled out for small flat breads. I cut the ball of dough into 1/8th and gently pressed them flatter. I like to bake in cast iron and doing it this way meant I could bake the whole batch in one cast iron pan rather than multiple. Although I think the look of the round ones is cute too.
These are so good fresh, warm with a bit of butter and salt, or even with a soft farmers cheese. They are great with any melted cheese as well. Next we are going to try fresh goat feta once it comes into season.
Stinging Nettle Potato Biscuits
- 1 1/3 cup potatoes mashed
- 1 Large egg
- 1/2 cup Stinging Nettle blanched
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch black pepper
- pinch thyme
- sprinkle cornmeal for baking
- Peel,dice and boil potatoes, when tender drain and mash, do not blend, some small lumps is ok. Potatoes can be done ahead of time and used cold or used fresh and warm.
- Preheat oven to 425 deg F
- Dice blanched Stinging Nettle
- Ina large bowl mix mashed potatoes, Stinging Nettles, egg, seasoning and butter until combined.
- Sift in flour, salt and baking powder and stir. Mixture will appear very dry at first.
- Knead the mixture until its one coherent mass, should be slightly sticky but still workable
- Form dough into a ball and cut into 1/8ths gently press each piece flat
- Sprinkle cornmeal on pan and place the biscuits, poke each with a fork a couple times.Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
- optional* sprinkle salt or other seasoning on top prior to baking