About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

My Complete Profile

Recent Posts
Epicure's Mis en Place
Chorizo & Wild Mushroom Taco
Thai Style Mussels
Braised Red Cabbage with Apple
World Autism Awareness Day
World Autism Awareness Day Teaser
Farnsworth's Apple & Cherry Orchard
Turnip Remoulade
Change...What Change?
World Autism Awareness Day

Links
1001 Dinners 1001 Nights
A Few of My Favourite Things
Abstract Gourmet
Apellation Australia
Becks and Posh
BurgerMary ATX
Cook (almost) Anything at least once
Cooking Down Under
Cook sister!
Cooked And Bottled In Brunswick
David Lebovitz
Deep Dish Dreams
Chef Paz
Chubby Hubby
Eating Melbourne
Eating With Jack
essjay eats
Food Lover's Journey
Gosstronomy
Grab Your Fork
I Am Obsessed With Food
I Eat Therefore I Am
Iron Chef Shellie
Just Desserts
Kalyn's Kitchen
Kitchen Wench
Lobstersquad
Matt Bites
Melbourne Gastronome
My Kitchen in Half Cups
Nola Cuisine
Not Quite Nigella
Nourish Me
Seriously Good
Souvlaki For The Soul
Stone Soup
Sunnybrae
Syrup and Tang
Steve Don't Eat It!
That Jess Ho
The Elegant Sufficiency
The Perfect Pantry
The View From My Porch
Thyme for Cooking
Tomato
Tumeric & Saffron
tummy rumbles
What I Cooked Last Night
where's the beef
WhiteTrashBBQ
Vicious Ange

Food Blog Resources
Food Blog S'cool
I Eat I Drink I Work
Kiplog Food Links

Food for Thought
Autism Victoria
Autism Vox
forget me now
Lotus Martinis
MOM - Not Otherwise Specified
St Kilda Today

Monday, June 07, 2010
Nettle Spanakopita

photo courtesy Jay Town

My first introduction to nettles was about 30 years ago in the small mining town of Woods Point, in the high country of Victoria.

Frank Bussat ran a small restaurant called Diggers Delight in his rambling old house. Local treats often appeared on his menu, wild venison, trout from the pristine waters of the upper Goulburn river, even horse meat made its way onto the carte.

Frank was rather sly with some of his ingredients which would often appear without any description and would disingenuously ask what the diner thought - after the fact.

This was how I was first introduced to stinging nettles, in the form of a rather delicious soup.

Folklore holds that nettles are extremely good for you and it is thought that they have diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties. But it is the stinging spines that cover the leaves and stems for which nettles are renowned. One light touch is enough to get you stung.

Fortunately though, once cooked, the spines are completely deactivated and the only place you might get stung eating them is in Dorset, England where they hold a festival each year, the object of which is to eat as many raw nettles as possible. Ouch!

Nettles grow wild at this time of year right across Victoria, favouring damp shady places. You've probably got some growing in your garden right now.

Having made many nettle soups and risottos, last year, my attention was turned to making that wonderful Greek staple, spanakopita, substituting nettles for the more usual spinach. When the major newspaper, the Herald Sun, got wind of it, they turned my prickly pie into a feature on their food pages.

For those who didn't get to see the recipe, here it is below.

Nettle Spanakopita
(serves 6)

2 or 3 bunches of nettles*
4 spring onions
150g unsalted butter
4 tablespoons chopped dill
4 eggs
250g fetta cheese
250g ricotta cheese
juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt and fresh ground pepper
375g filo pastry - about 20 sheets

Using rubber gloves, pick the nettle leaves from the stalks, rinse well in clean water to remove any dirt, then drain in a colander.

Finely chop the spring onions, both white and green parts, and gently sweat in a pot with 25g butter. When softened, add the drained nettle leaves and the dill then stir until just wilted and greatly reduced in volume. Tip into a colander to drain and cool. At this point, nettles can no longer sting you.

Whisk the 4 eggs in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, break up the fetta and ricotta cheeses into small pieces the size of gravel, add the beaten eggs, the cooled nettle mixture and the lemon juice, Season carefully with salt, generously with fresh ground pepper.

Working quickly to prevent the filo pastry from drying out, melt the remaining butter, trim the pastry to suit a large baking dish and place in 10 sheets, brushing the top each one with melted butter. Spoon in the nettle and cheese mixture and spread evenly. Top with the remaining 10 sheets of pastry, again brushing the top each one with butter.

Score the top layer of pastry into a serving size diamond pattern or squares, then bake in a 180c oven for 35 minutes or until well browned. Serve warm or cold.

*Available wild or from farmer's markets during winter.
 
  posted at 9:05 pm
  4 comments



4 Comments:
At 10:59 pm, Blogger Anh said...

Long time, Neil!

I have to try nettles! If I can find any, that is. I've had people talking about them all the time

 
At 1:02 pm, Blogger Joanie said...

Wow! Never heard of nettle til I read your post today. I learn something new everyday, Neil :)

 
At 4:07 pm, Blogger steve said...

Hi Neil, nice post & recipe. My dealings with nettles are of the stinging variety in England where as a lad after one too many jars I fell into a rush of them. Covered from head to scrotum with welts I have never forgotten their power.
One of the foods I put into the 'you'd only eat it if your starving' basket!
thanks for your kind words on my blog-I'm just resting BTW!

 
At 9:37 am, Anonymous simauma said...

Hello!! My name is SIMAUMA. I write blog about the food.Please look.And I am glad if I link to your blog. (URL)http://food-collection-simauma.blogspot.com/

 

Post a Comment

<< Home



Search


Recipe Categories
Soups
Salads
Vegetables
Poultry
Pork
Beef
Cakes & Desserts
Miscellaneous

Archives
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
May 2009
June 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
July 2012

Miscellaneous
AUSTRALIAN FOOD BLOGGERS
Prev ~ List ~ Random ~ Join ~ Next
Site Ring from Bravenet


Site Feed

counter easy hit

Credits
Blog Design by:


Image created by:
Ximena Maier

Powered by:


Photos, Original Recipes, and Text - (C) Copyright: 2005-2010
At My Table by Neil Murray, all rights reserved.
You may re-post a recipe, please give credit and post a link to this site.

Contact Me
Neil Murray

Follow messytable on Twitter