If you're a gardener, stinging nettle is probably the bane of your existence, spreading and taking over your garden in what seems like overnight. But the next time you start pulling nettle out by its roots and tossing it into the compost bin, consider saving it for a nutritious, pain-free salad!
My relationship with stinging nettle stems all the way back to my childhood. Ten-year-old me would spend summers in the Polish countryside, jumping into nettle bushes, swallowing the pain of the stings, so I could get to the wild raspberries hidden between the obnoxious weeds. At first, the stings made me screech. Now, they're just a beautiful reminder of my wonderful summer vacations in Poland.
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Although I never use gloves to handle stinging nettle, I recommend that you do. If you're not used to the stings, they can be enough to deter you from making this awesome, incredibly nutritious, sting-free salad.
A Little Bit About Stinging Nettle
It contains no fat, sodium, cholesterol, protein, or sugar. It does, however, contain Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and iron. For many years, stinging nettle has been used as a cure for joint pain, urinary issues, Hay Fever, Eczema, and more. I use it as a healthy ingredient in many recipes!
Here's how to make a fresh and painless nettle salad:
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- Rubber gloves (to handle the nettle)
- 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup of chopped green onion
- 3 cups of fresh stinging nettle (or more)
- 1 ripe organic tomato (or more)
- 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- Using your rubber gloves, gently rip off the nettle leaves from their stems and rinse them under cold water. After rinsing, dry with a cloth and place in a bowl.
- Cut your lemon in half and squeeze both parts into the bowl.
- With your hands (rubber gloves on), mix the nettle with the lemon juice. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the fridge.
- Take the bowl out of the fridge and add the olive oil, chopped green onion, and chopped tomatoes. With rubber gloves, mix with your hands.
- Add salt and pepper, and mix.