Exmoor Beast Posted May 11, 2006 Share Posted May 11, 2006 So we are all off camping now so I thought we should have a cooking section. Now is the season of the fresh nettle so heres a start. Nettles The folk belief in most European countries is that nettles (Urtica diorica L.) are a "spring tonic" that purifies the blood. In Germany, where much current research on the medicinal properties of plants comes from, nettle leaf tea reportedly increases blood hemoglobin. Diuretic activity has been confirmed by both laboratory studies and a human clinical study. Nettles are also thought to help stimulate blood circulation and have been used to clear chronic skin ailments. Some propose that the nettle might also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease since it contains acetylcholine and choline, both deficient in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. It also contains serotonin, a mood enhancer along with boron and calcium, important for strong bones. Nettles are tender and sweet, with a slight peppery bite that gets stronger as the plants get older. Anything you like to do with spinach you can also do with nettles — except eat them raw — because, yes, we are talking about stinging nettles here. But like most good things in life, nettles are worth a little irritation. Just wear gloves when you work with them — or plop them directly from the bag into the pan. Rest assured that the sting is eliminated by cooking. Pasta with Nettles and Parmesan 3-4 cups fresh nettles 3 Tablespoons olive oil 3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1 small hot red pepper 1 pound pasta (traditionally penne, pennette, or rigatoni) 1. Wash the nettles and put in salted boiling water for about seven minutes. 2. While they are cooking, put olive oil, garlic, and hot pepper into a frying pan over medium heat for three to four minutes. 3. Remove the cooked nettles from the boiling water and put into the frying pan with the garlic and pepper. Stir and cook for a few minutes, until excess water has evaporated and the nettles are coated with oil. 4. Use the water the nettles were boiled in to cook the pasta. When pasta is al dente (chewy), drain and toss with the cooked nettles. Serve with fresh grated parmesan. Next? Will Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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