spring hunting season

April 12, 2010

Today I went out for a hunt with my friend Heather. We were a little late last year, looking for mushrooms, and so wanted to be ahead of the game this year. We were a little too ahead for morels, but we did find a whole bunch of stinging nettles.

I wanted to make nettle pies, so I collected a good sized plastic bag full. Nettles are tricky little plants. If you touch them with your bare skin, it will sting for a few minutes.

In order to pick them, I placed my hand in a plastic bag, pinched off the tender tips of the plants, and placed them in another plastic bag.

To wash the nettles, I filled my sink with water, and stirred the leaves around with a pair of chopsticks.

The spines are still prickly after the nettles have been washed. To remove the prickles, I steamed the nettles in a bit of water, with a little salt. I poured off the nettle broth and drank it. It tasted like the woods, warm, sweet, and full of earth!

To make nettle pies, I chopped an onion and sautéed it in olive oil.

As it was cooking, I added a little of the nettle broth, and then some chopped chard and beet greens.

When these had finished cooking, I added the cooked and chopped nettles.

I set the vegetable mixture aside and made the crust. I made a basic pie crust, using 1/2 whole wheat flour, to give it a little more substance.

To fill out the filling, I mixed one package tofu, one package organic valley feta cheese, and half a package prairie breeze cheese. I crumbled the tofu and feta with my hands, and grated the prairie breeze. To bind the whole mixture together, I added a sprinkle of whole wheat flour. I mixed the cheeses with the vegetables, and blended them a little with my stick blender. When the pie crusts were chilled, I spooned the batter into them, and baked the pies in a 400 degree oven for ten minutes, and then in a 350 degree oven for an additional 45 (approximately), until they were firm.

And now I have two nettle chard pies, and lunch food until I get sick of them…


2 Responses to “spring hunting season”

  1. heli-claire Says:

    yumm! deborah would be proud.

    • Torrey Says:

      I haven’t tried the pies yet, but the nettles were really good on the pizza. Maybe we can make it when you come…


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