We’ve been clearing the freezer of the last of the foraged fruits we collected last year, by turning it into jams and jellies, when we found some nettles that we’d forgotten about. We eat nettles a lot over the course of the year in many different ways, such as these puff pies.
A couple of years ago we started to freeze any extras we had. The best way we’ve found to do that is to plunge the nettle tips into hot water and then into cold water. Then you can drain them, put them on a tea towel and wring them out. Take small handfuls at a time and make them into nettle balls. Place the balls onto a baking tray and pop them into the freezer. Once they’re frozen you can put them in a freezer bag without having to worry about them sticking together. And then use them as needed.
As I say, we found some in the freezer and Nicola thought that she would make something from them for a woodland management weekend we held recently. So she decided to make nettle burgers based on a recipe in ‘Leon- fast vegetarian’ by Jane Baxter and Henry Dimbleby. It’s a great book full of inspiring recipes. So this is Nicola’s take on it.
- Prepared nettle tips (we intend to give these burgers a go using dead nettles too)
- A tin of chickpeas
- 1/2 tin of kidney beans
- 3 cloves of chopped garlic
- Some chopped spring onions (we’re going to make these again in a month or so and substitute the spring onions for ramsons)
- 1 tsp of grated ginger
- 2 tsp of ground cumin
- 1 tsp of honey
- 1 tsp of tahini
- 1 egg
- Porridge oats
How to make the nettle burgers
- Rinse and drain the chick peas and kidney beans and mash them together
- Add the other ingredients (but not the oats) and mix everything together
- Add the oats until you get a good consistency
- Shape the mixture into burgers and put them in the fridge overnight
- Lightly coat the burgers in breadcrumbs
- Fry in olive oil until golden brown
Nicola served them with some rocket and sour cream and they were awesome!