We recently foraged for nettles for the first time and turned them into a tart, and it was wonderful! Nettles have the most protein of any green, including broccoli and spinach! Their calcium content is through the roof - 10 times that of spinach. Basically they are a lot more nutrient dense than most things you could buy in the shops, and it grows literally everywhere for free! Here is a research paper detailing the nutritional values of nettles: Journal of Food Science
Nettles are also a wild and fun thing to forage with the kids! Spring is the perfect time when the nettles are still quite young and sweet. Grab some good quality gloves and bags to collect the nettles in and make sure you wear trousers! Cut the top half of the nettles off (they are the most tasty) - to collect 200g worth you need to fill a carrier bag.
Wild Nettle Tart
250g shortcrust pastry
200g nettle leaves
200ml creme fraiche
2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
100g cheddar cheese
Handful of chopped chives and / or wild garlic (optional)
Pinch of salt
Tart / quiche tin
Mixing bowl and spoon
Chopping board and knife
Pre-heat the oven to 170c (190c non-fan assisted / gas mark 4)
Roll the pastry and line your tin with it
Prepare your nettles by wearing gloves and then rinsing them in cold water
Cut off the leaves until you have 200g and then plunge them in boiling water for 2 mins
Rinse the leaves in cold water and squeeze the excess water from them (they won't sting you now - the sting is removed after 30 seconds of being in boiling water!)
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and egg yolks with the crème fraiche
Grate the cheese and chop the nettles into small pieces
Add them to the mix, along with wild garlic/chives if using
Add a pinch of salt, stir thoroughly and then pour the filling into the tart shell and bake for 25-30 mins
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