I almost titled this blog “Nettle Yogurt Cheese ; Because You Can!” Thing is, even though it may not be the simplest or even most practical approach, I find something very satisfying about gathering “wild food”. Even though I can grow my own food, or get my vegetables at the market, there is something special about locating a wild food plant that makes me want to use it just because I can.
When my aunt pointed despairingly to a large clump of stinging nettles in her garden something clicked and I remembered that you could eat them. Apparently, if you roll the leaves the right way, you can eat them raw, but I was not about to try that. What I had in mind was some stinging nettle cheese I’d sampled once. I haven’t yet made cheese but I’ve made yogurt cheese and right away I saw the possibility.
So, suitably clothed and gloves I approached the stinging nettles and cut off the freshest leaves. (I’d say the spring is a better time to do this, but I was not going to be dissuaded.) Back at the house I steamed them for a full five minutes until they looked like cooked spinach. Then I simply mixed the nettles and some salt and pepper into some yogurt and continued as for yogurt cheese. The result is a nice little spread, perfect for crackers.
I’m not sure the nettles taste so very different from spinach but the notion that I have tamed the stinging nettle into something you can put in your mouth is quite pleasing.