Cooking, recipes, English.

Spinach or Nettles Salad, with egg.


Description: A very good appetizer, clean and improve our blood and of course it is very valuable for our skin. It will brighten up your menu. Nettles are delicious, and packed with nutrients! Nettles have herbaceous taste and make a nice substitute for spinach. Nettles are rich in vitamins A and C, amazingly high in protein, filled with chlorophyll, and probably exceedingly rich in many of the essential trace minerals. Pick younger, shorter nettle for best flavor and tenderness.

Ingredients:
2 oz parsley.
6 oz washed nettles, or spinach.
1 egg.
1, 5 oz (30 g) sour cream.
salt, 6% apple vinegar to taste.

Method:
1. Wash nettles, put into boiled water and cook for 3 - 4 minutes. Strain and drain well cooked nettles. If you use Spinach, wash, drain and chop it.
2. Chop parsley and nettles finely. Cube egg.
3. Combine all ingredients, sprinkle with vinegar and stir in sour cream.


Nettle Pasta.


Description: It is important to chop the cooked nettles very well, chopped nettles puree in a blender or food processor.
Ingredients:
300 g all-purpose flour, about 2 heaping cups
120 g blanched nettles or spinach, about a cup
Preparation:
Remove from nettles any thick stems. Get a huge pot of water boiling and add a salt, put nettles into the boiling water. Stir around and boil nettles for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on how old they are. Put nettles in a colander to strain.
Chop the nettles roughly. Puree the nettles in a blender. When you are done, add a little water into the bowl of the blender to help clean it out, but save the water — you might need this "nettle water" if your dough is not moist enough.
Put the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the nettle puree and gradually incorporate it into the flour until you get a shaggy mass. If it’s too stiff add a little of the nettle water. Start folding the dough over itself until it comes together, then begin kneading.
Cover the dough with a thin film of olive oil and wrap in plastic. Let it rest for an hour. Cut off a piece of the dough and roll it out, make the pasta. To hand cut your noodles, if need, dust with a little flour. Lay the pasta on the board with some flour dusted on them. Repeat with the rest of the dough. After every little batch, pick up the previous one that had been drying and give it a slight twist, making it into a loose nest. This makes for easier storage. The strettine will sit like this for up to a day. Boil in lots of salty water until they float, and then for another minute or two. Serve at once.


Nettle Ravioli in Nettle Pasta.


Description: You can freeze the ravioli for later in the week. To properly do this, arrange the finished, uncooked ravioli on a baking sheet that has been dusted with semolina or cornmeal. Put the baking sheet into the freezer. When the ravioli have frozen solid, about 2 hours, you can move them to a freezer bag and store that way for about 2 months.

Ingredients:
Serve these ravioli with butter, fresh ground black pepper and some grated dry cheese.
1 batch stinging nettle pasta (see above)
2 cooked potatoes, about 250 g
120 g mascarpone
120 g blanched stinging nettles, about a cup
Salt, coriander and pepper - to taste
dill, cilantro, onion, ginger - finely chopped
Preparation:
Start the process by making the pasta. Instructions for doing above. Pasta dough is simple to work with: knead it well, give it a little resting time, pay attention to its needs (if it’s on the dry side, add a little water, if it’s too sticky add a little flour), and you shall be generously rewarded. While the pasta dough is resting, make the filling.

To make the filling: Get a large pot of water boiling and add salt. Stir around and boil for 1-3 minutes, depending on how old the nettles are. Put nettles in a colander to strain, squeeze out as much moisture as you can.
Chop the nettles finely — don’t use a food processor. In a bowl, mash the potatoes, mascarpone and nettles into a cohesive paste. Do this by hand, as it is important for the texture. Taste it and add salt and pepper, coriander, dill, cilantro to your liking. If you want, a little nutmeg is good, too.
Roll out your pasta dough very thin. Keep each piece dough covered until you need it.
Lay the sheets down on a work surface and place about a heaping teaspoon of filling on each one. Cover them with another piece of the dough. Cut each raviolo out with a circle cutter or a wineglass. Of course, you can also use a standard ravioli mold. When each raviolo is finished, lay it out on a well floured board to dry a bit. Repeat this with the rest of the dough.
To cook the ravioli, bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it well. While the water is heating, melt some butter or oil in a large saute pan set over medium-low heat. Add some minced garlic or finely chopped onion if you’d like. Boil the ravioli for 2 to 3 minutes, or about 90 seconds after they start to float to the top. Move them to the saute pan and toss to coat with the butter. Serve at once with freshly ground black pepper and grated cheese.


Nettlekopita


About 1 pound of nettles, steamed and chopped
1 large onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cup crumbled feta (1 x 8 oz. package)
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1/2 cup each fresh chopped basil & parsley (I didn't have these so I used chopped chives instead)
Lemon juice & grated zest from half a lemon
Pinch of nutmeg (freshly grated)
Salt and cracked pepper, to taste (keep in mind the salty feta)
1/2 cup butter
1 package of filo pastry (thawed out in the fridge the night before)

Make the filling:
Cook the onions in the olive oil until soft and golden. Add the garlic (and chopped chives if using) and cook for one or two minutes longer. Plunge the nettles in a pot of boiling water for about 1 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to sit with a lid on for 5 minutes longer. (Save the water to drink for a nutritious tea!) Squeeze all water from nettles. Chop finely and mix with cooked onions and all other ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste (keep in mind the feta is very salty so tasting the mixture is a good idea).

Assembly:
Melt butter. Thaw out (night before) and unwrap filo pastry. Keep filo under a humid tea towel while you assemble the nettlekopitas. Take a rectangle of filo and brush with butter, lightly but thoroughly. Fold it in half, lengthwise. Brush butter on top. Place about 1/4 cup of filling on the lower edge. Fold diagonally across. Fold this way, all the way up, in a triangle shape, as shown in picture. Fold until you reach end of the dough. (except oops, I reversed pictures 2 and 3, so the 3rd picture is actually step 2) (At this stage, once all your triangles are made up, you can freeze the nettlekopitas if you'd like to bake them at a later date). Brush tops of triangles with butter and bake on an oiled baking sheet at 350F for around 30 minutes or until golden and crispy.

Nettle Tart


Spinach may be used here in a pinch, but try to use nettles if it's at all possible. The tart may be made ahead and served warm or at room temperature.

Makes 8 servings
Crust: 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour; 1/4 cup olive oil; 3 to 4 tablespoons ice-cold water.

Filling: 3 cups nettle leaves; 2 tablespoons olive oil; 2 shallots, chopped; 2 large eggs; 1 cup whole milk; 1 cup heavy cream; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; 1 teaspoon dried thyme; 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated; 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the crust, place the whole-wheat pastry flour in a large bowl. Whisk and cut in the olive oil with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk in the ice water a little at a time, until the dough just begins to hold together. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Roll out the dough, fit into a 9-inch tart or pie pan and prick the bottom lightly with a fork. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until crust is slightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the nettle leaves. Boil for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again and set aside. When cool, chop the nettle tops into thin strips.

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the shallots. Saute for about 4 minutes, until soft.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk and cream, and whisk to combine. Stir in the cooked nettles, salt, pepper, thyme and Gruyere cheese.

Pour the filling into the tart shell and sprinkle evenly with the grated Parmesan cheese.

Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until surface is golden and puffed. Remove tart from oven and let cool slightly before serving.


Nettle Pasta


6 ounces stinging nettles
8 ounces small dried pasta (orecchiette, orzo, etc)
extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
a big handful of toasted almond slices
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
a handful of onion sprouts
feta cheese, crumbled - as much or as little as you like
fine grain sea salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt well, as you would for pasta water, and add the nettles straight from the bag so as not to get stung (or use gloves to handle them). Boil until the nettles wilt, just 20 seconds or so, then use a slotted spoon to remove the nettles from the pot. Run under cold water, drain well, then strip the leaves from any big stems. Chop the leaves into a paste.

In the meantime, bring the nettle water back to a boil, add the pasta, and boil until just tender. Reserve a cup of the nettle water, and drain the pasta.

Place the pasta pot back on the burner over medium-high heat, adding 1/2 cup / 120 ml of the reserved pasta water, a splash of olive oil, and the chopped garlic. Bring to a simmer, the add the pasta and chopped nettles. Add more pasta water if needed. Stir well, and add most of the almonds and sesame seeds. Taste and add more salt if needed. Remove from heat and stir in most of the onion sprouts before turning out into a bowl. Serve family-style topped with feta, the remaining almonds, sesame seeds, and sprouts, drizzled with olive oil.

Serves 4.
A quick blanch in boiling water will neutralize their stinging power. Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 15 min

Making gnudi is fun. First you press out all the liquid from one tub of ricotta and the nettles, then whir them in a food processor with either two duck egg yolks or three chicken yolks. Plop the goo into a mixing bowl and add salt, smoked garlic powder if you wish, and flour as needed to form a light dough. A cup and a half of flour should more or less suffice. (tip- the amount of flour needed in most recipes will vary with your humidity and altitude. To form the gnudi roll a teaspoon of dough between your palms into a little oval. Place on a parchment-lined sheetpan and repeat with remaining dough. Cover while waiting for the water to boil and finishing the duck and sauce. Cook gnudi as you would gnocchi- by dropping into salted boiling water and removing with a slotted spoon once they float to the top.


Spring Lasagna with Asparagus, Peas and Stinging Nettles


Serves 8

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
1 medium white onion, diced
5 cups loose stinging nettle leaves (see note); baby spinach can be substituted
2 cups fresh or frozen peas
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces mild goat cheese
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 lemons, very thinly sliced
12 no-boil lasagna noodles

Note on preparing stinging nettles: Wearing gloves, place fresh nettles on a cutting board. Separate the leaves from the stalk. You can use the stems and leaves from the top 6 or 8 leaves on each stalk. You can also use the lower leaves, but discard the thicker stems as well as the main stalk, as they will be too thick and reedy to eat.

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare stinging nettle leaves (see note above), and prepare asparagus: Cut the tips off of each asparagus spear and reserve them. Then cut asparagus spears into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, cook sausage, breaking up pieces, until no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to paper towel-lined plate.

Into same saucepan, add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, then the pieces of asparagus spears. Sauté asparagus until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add remaining olive oil to pan, then add diced onion and sauté until just softened and beginning to turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add stinging nettle leaves and sauté until wilted and cooked through, about 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cover lemon slices with cold water by 3 inches in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon.

Make the roux: Melt butter in a different saucepan over high heat. Stir in flour; cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in Parmesan and goat cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Spread 1/4 cup of the roux in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, then top with a layer of noodles. Top with sautéed asparagus, half the sausage, one third of the remaining roux, and another layer of noodles. Top that with sautéed nettles and onions, peas, half the remaining roux, half the lemon slices, the remaining sausage and another layer of noodles. Arrange the remaining lemon slices and the reserved asparagus tips on the top layer, then pour on the remaining roux.

Cover dish with parchment-lined aluminum foil and bake 28 minutes, until top is golden and bubbly. (You may want to finish it under a broiler for 2 minutes.) Let stand 10 minutes.