I'm a big fan of Stinging Nettle because it's not only super nutritious, but it can be incorporated into SO many tasty dishes and drinks! It gets its name, Stinging Nettles, from its ability to make humans' skin Sting when touched! This can make them difficult to work with, but some good gloves or a plastic bag is all you need to safely harvest and prepare them. Once harvested, you simply par boil in water for a couple of minutes before transferring to an ice bath. At this point, they are safe to work with sans gloves!
I found this recipe from Foraged by Fern on IG and made a few adjustments based off what I had on hand. I ended up using wild ramps, since we were out of onions, and my gin loving boyfriend was inspired to create a cocktail to enjoy with our dinner!
Wild Foraged Nettle Pakoras
20 Nettle tops with 6-8 leaves each
1/2 sweet onion or a couple wild ramp bulbs
1/2 cup gram flour
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp corriander
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp chili flakes
Salt to taste
a couple tbsp water to create desired consistency
First prepare the Stinging Nettles using the method described above. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Slowly add water a tbsp at a time until it creates a thick dough. Form into small patties, dip in bread crumbs, and fry in hot oil.
Serve with chutney of choice and chopped cilantro!
Wild Ramps Gibson
2 oz Gin
1/4 oz ramps pickling juice
Splash sweet vermouth
Combine all ingredients, shake, serve in a chilled glass and garnish with a pickled ramp!