This recipe is inspired by my first teacher of herbs, Rosemary Gladstar.
It involves using fillo leaves, which are extremely thin sheets of pastry dough, usually sold frozen in long thin boxes. Fillo can be fussy to work with but the results are so worth it! It’s actually a lot more forgiving than it seems, so don’t be afraid to try it!
1 large basket full of fresh young nettles (about 1 gallon, packed) or 4 cups cooked nettles
1 6-oz can of black olives, sliced
1 lb. feta cheese
4 cloves garlic, minced
Tbsp olive oil
1 box fillo leaves
1 to 1 1/2 cups olive oil
1. Cook nettles in small amount of water until very tender. Drain and let cool.
2. Mix nettles with olives, feta cheese, olive oil and minced garlic. This is your filling.
3. Cut fillo leaves in half lengthwise. Follow directions on fillo box for preparing and folding pastries properly. Put ¼ cup filling in each pastry. Use 3 sheets fillo per pastry.
4. Arrange on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
Makes approx. 24 pastries.
Note: Fillo leaves used to come with two packages per box, sized for 9×13 pans. Lately it’s been all in one package and sized much bigger, so it is necessary to cut the stack of leaves into thirds.
Nettles-Ricotta Pie (adapted from “Moosewood Cookbook”)
1 cup unbleached flour
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
2-3 Tbsp cold water
1 tsp butter
1 cup minced wild leeks (or onions)
3 cups nettles, cooked and drained thoroughly (about 1 gallon fresh)
½ tsp salt
16 oz. ricotta cheese
3 beaten eggs
3 Tbsp flour
1-1/2 cups grated sharp cheese (8 oz)
1. Prepare pie crust for 9- or 10-inch pie pan. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 375 .
3. Sauté leeks or onion in butter. Combine with nettles, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
4. In a separate bowl beat eggs, ricotta, and flour and half of the grated cheese together. Add to nettles and mix thoroughly.
5. Spread into the unbaked pie shell.
6. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
7. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until firm to touch at center.
This soup is very green. It really feels like medicine, it reminds me of a broth one would feed to an invalid to aid in strength and recovery. This recipe is very simple to make and super-nourishing.
4 cups fresh Nettles or 1 cup cooked
2 cups water
1 cup yogurt (can substitute sour cream)
3-4 cloves garlic
½ -3/4 tsp salt
1. Simmer fresh nettles in water, covered, for 10-15 minutes until very tender.
2. Put in a blender.
3. Add yogurt, garlic and salt.
4. Blend until completely pureed.
5. Gently reheat to eating temperature, but do not boil.
Note: This soup can be eaten hot or cold. This one might be a little too green to serve at a potluck or to someone skeptical about eating weeds! But anyone who appreciates the wonders of Nettles and the value of life-giving foods will love this recipe!
This soup can be adapted to any green, but is especially good with Nettles.
1 Tbsp fresh or dried nettles and mint to each cup boiling water OR ½ cup nettles-mint mixture to each quart boiling water. Best made 24 hours ahead so it can steep (infuse) for maximum potency. Serve sweetened or unsweetened, hot or cold.
1 cup tomato juice
½ cup Nettles broth or tonic infusion
1 Tbsp vinegar (use your herbal vinegar!) or lemon juice
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Dash Tabasco sauce
Mix everything together and drink! Serve hot or cold. This is quick, easy and delicious. I like to have it with breakfast to give my day a healthy start!