Recipe: Stinging Nettle Tart with Goat’s Curd & Parsley

Stinging nettles sting. We all know that. They’re also weeds. But, as always, there are two sides to the coin. Not only are they freely available, fitting in nicely with our series of free food recipes, they are also very good for you. Their leaves are high in vitamins C and A, iron, magnesium and other healthy stuff. Yum.

Serves 8 | Prep time – 1hr 40 mins (includes blind bake time) | Cook time – 35 mins | Use 24cm tart tin

Ingredients

  • 110g butter, diced and at room temperature
  • 200g of white flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tbsp chilled water
  • 1 tbsp butter, for frying
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ cups of blanched nettle leaves, chopped – this should equate to approximately 5 large handfuls of foraged nettle.
  • 1 ½ tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 100 ml of pouring cream

For the shortcrust pastry, place flour, salt and butter in a large bowl.

Using your fingertips, rub butter into the flour until the mixture starts to resemble fine breadcrumbs – there should be no large lumps of butter remaining.

Slowly add the water a little at a time, use a butter knife to mix until a dough is formed.

Very quickly, lightly knead the dough to form a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes before use.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease a 24cm loose bottom tart tin with butter. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out pastry into a large circle big enough to cover tart tin, lightly press pastry into tin and trim edges, leaving a 1cm border of pastry around edges.

Line your pastry base with baking paper and add bakers weights, or alternatively dried beans or uncooked rice, this will prevent the dough from rising whilst baking. Blind bake in oven for 25-30 minutes until base is a light golden brown.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, using gloves add stinging nettle to water and blanch for 2 minutes, this will disarm its nasty stingers. Place nettle in a colander, rinse with cold water and squeeze lightly to remove excess water. Roughly chop – discard any of the tough thicker stems – measure 1 ½ cups and put aside.

Add butter, garlic and leek to a frying pan and cook until leek is translucent and light brown in colour, remove from pan and place in bowl, stir in chopped stinging nettle and grated nutmeg and a good pinch of salt. In a separate bowl whisk together eggs and cream then stir into the nettle mixture.

Pour your mixture into the pastry base and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, until egg is just cooked through. Leave to cool on a rack for 20 minutes then serve with fresh goats curd and torn parsley.

Note: Always use gloves when collecting nettles, otherwise you will sting yourself. Also, always rinse your weeds well before use, especially if you have found them in a public place. Dog wee, etc. AND finally….. Always make sure you have positively identified the weed before eating. If you are not sure what it is, DONT EAT IT! Good.