The Outdoor Apothecary is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
It’s finally time to put all that hard work harvesting stinging nettles to good use! It has taken quite some time to harvest them all, so you might have a few cups (or more!) of fresh nettle leaves that need to be used up. Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways you can use your fresh nettle harvest, like this nettle frittata recipe. It’s a great way to use up your nettle harvest and get some extra nutrition into your diet at the same time!
A Word About HARVESTING Nettles
Harvesting stinging nettles can teach us to mindfully focus on our actions, especially when the consequence of not doing so can end up with you getting a nasty stinging rash. So, don’t forget to put on leather or other impenetrable gloves as well as long sleeves and long pants for extra protection against the stings.
Nettle tops are best enjoyed in early spring, but if the nettles are repeatedly cut back, they will regrow and send up fresh shoots, extending the harvesting season through summer and even into autumn.
To harvest, pick the top 6 inches of the plant wearing gloves, or use a pair of gardening scissors to cut and lift them into a bag or basket.
Stinging Nettle Benefits
Stinging nettle, also known as Urtica dioica, is a common plant found throughout the world. It has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb, and its nutritional value makes it a valuable addition to an ancestral diet.
One of the most significant benefits of stinging nettle is its high nutrient content. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. In traditional medicine, stinging nettle has been used to treat a wide range of conditions, including allergies, arthritis, and urinary tract infections.
Nettle Frittata Recipe
In addition to its nutritional and medicinal benefits, stinging nettle is also a delicious ingredient that can be incorporated into a variety of recipes. One particularly tasty way to enjoy stinging nettle is in a frittata. Here is a simple nettle frittata recipe that’s a spring favorite in my house:
- 4 cups fresh stinging nettle leaves
- 8 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Rinse the stinging nettle leaves thoroughly and remove any tough stems.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the stinging nettle leaves and sauté for 3-4 minutes until wilted.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and black pepper.
- Add the sautéed stinging nettle leaves to the egg mixture and stir to combine.
- Pour the egg mixture into a greased 9-inch baking dish or cast iron (my preferred cookware).
- Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the top of the egg mixture.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the eggs are set, and the cheese is melted and golden brown.
- Serve hot or at room temperature.
This stinging nettle frittata recipe is a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy this amazing plant. It is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or even as a light dinner. By incorporating stinging nettle into your ancestral diet, you can take advantage of its many health benefits and add variety to your meals.
For more recipes like the nettle frittata recipe above, here are a few favorites that make use of homegrown or foraged foods:
- Eating Weeds: 22 Delicious Dandelion Recipes You Need to Try
- Hearty & Delicious Soup With Sweet Potato
- How to Make Kimchi: An Easy and Customizable Recipe
- Edible Lilacs: 7 Delicious Spring Recipes
- 10 Delicious Fiddlehead Recipes to Celebrate the Freshness of Spring
- Wildcraft a Feast of Invasive Edible Weeds: 25 Recipes
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.