Spring has arrived, and with it, has come the best season for foraging. This is a great time of year to get your hands on some earthy, fresh deep green nettle leaves. Choosing these early leaves ensures a pungent taste as well as a rich supply of vitamins. Nettles have an array of uses, from tea to soup. But for a different use for this wonderful weed, I’ve chosen to pop them is some delicious thin pancakes.
These nettle pancakes can be eaten as a sweet treat, an after dinner desert or as a savoury dish.
50g organic plain flour
50g organic spelt flour
50g butter, melted
For the savoury filling:
2 small carrots
1 small onion
1 tin of butter beans
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
100g greek feta
salt and pepper to taste
Start by foraging for the nettles, choosing the youngest and lushest looking leaves.
Be sure to wear thick gloves, to avoid the stings!
Blanche the nettles by pouring a kettle of boiling water over the nettles, drain, then chop, discarding any large stems.
Next, sift the two flours into a bowl and beat in the eggs, milk and melted butter. Add the nettles, and mix well.
Fry the pancakes on medium heat, in a little butter, for a minute on each side or until lightly golden.
Serve the nettle pancakes with jam, or fill with a savoury filling.
For the filling:
Wash and chop all the vegetables. Sweat the onion on a large pan with the spices, followed by the carrots and courgette. Add the butter beans and tomatoes. Simmer for 15 min. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, fill the pancakes with the filling and crumble the feta cheese on top.