This was just the spring foraging challenge I had been looking for.
With Stinging Nettles, which are easy to find and harbor no toxic impostors, the risk comes with the preparation. These deceptively benign greens look like something you'd toss in your salad. But eat them raw — even touch them with bare hands — and you are asking for an irritative skin condition that feels like you swallowed a sunburn.
My second jar was poured over the herb garden per Susan's recommendation. Tomorrow I'm off to find more nettles — I'll fold them into fresh egg pasta and toss them with my precious morels.
Stinging Nettle Orzo Frittata
- 1 bunch stinging nettles
- pat of butter
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup cooked orzo (or other leftover pasta)
- 1/4 cup cubed or shredded cheese, such as Parmesan, Pecorino, or sheep's milk feta
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Place 10 cups of water in a large pot with a tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil.
- Wearing gloves, rinse the nettles and remove the leaves. Discard the stems and buds. Throw the nettle leaves into the pot and boil for 4 minutes.
- Drain the nettles, reserving the nettle broth if you like. Squeeze them dry in a dish towel, then chop.
- Place an 8 1/2-inch skillet over low heat, and gently warm a pat of butter, making sure it covers the surface. Set the broiler to high.
- Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and sauté for 5 minutes, or until translucent and starting to brown. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute or two.
- Add the chopped nettles and the orzo and stir to mix. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and pour them into the skillet.
- With a flexible spatula, push the edges of the set eggs to the center of the frittata. When the eggs are almost set, sprinkle the cheese on top and place the skillet under the broiler until it puffs and browns, but is still jiggly in the center.
- Transfer to a plate, season with salt and pepper, cut into wedges and serve.