Note: We are offering a free meal kit to EVERY existing customer that refers a friend or family member to our service that places an order. Thanks!
Wild Stinging Nettles have a wonderfully bold, earthy taste. But, just as the name suggests, Nettles are poisonous in their raw state. Urtica Dioica, its Scientific classification, or “Electric Grass,” its unscientific classification, is indigenous to just about every continent. In the U.S., Nettles are found growing naturally in the wilderness of the the Pacific Northwest, but only for a short period of time during the Spring. While some call it a weed, the Nettle is not cultivated but picked wild (although they are grown commercially in Europe to extract the Chlorophyll for a natural green dye). The Native Americans harvested Nettles and it has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years.
So, what makes them “Stinging?” Nettles have stinging silica hairs containing formic acid, the same acid in fire ants, as well as histamine, acetylcholine and serotonin. The needles are simply meant for defense to protect the plant from being eaten by animals. Now, these barbs are easily removed by blanching the Nettles in water or drying the leaves, just don’t touch them before you do because the sting is similar to a jellyfish!
“Super Food.” The reason for Nettles popularity is both their earthy taste and healthy vitamin-richness. Nettles are unusually high in protein (2.4g per cup) for a green plant and as well as vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium, and fiber. Speaking of fiber, the content is high enough for clothes making, with evidence of Nettle linen dating back over 3,000 years. Their nutritional value has squarely placed them into the ever growing “super food” category.
O! What's in a name? The latin name for Nettles, Dioica, means “Two Houses,” and references that male and female flowers are carried on different plants. The name “Nettle,” apparently is derived from the Old English word for needle.
World Nettle Eating Championship...It’s a thing. Nettles are embraced in cuisines throughout the world. And, as with pretty much any ingredient, it has its own contest. The World Nettle Eating Championship is held in Dorset, England every year. The challenge is to eat as many RAW Nettles in an hour. The title has been held for the last 3 years by a man name Phil Thorne (not sure if that is just irony, or he legally changed his name), who ate 86ft of Nettles in his last competition. The Champion stated after his last victory, “It doesn’t hurt as much as you might think, you just get a tingling around your mouth.” The media coverage of the event has never been kind:, “The Bizarre Competition….”, “Whacky competitors,” or “English Idiots Hold Annual Event…” Needless to say, there are very few competitors with the annual contest only drawing 60 or so competitors each year, but a huge crowd of spectators….the Brits don’t need much of an excuse to drink.
We will be making a pesto with the Nettles after blanching, so the poison already will be removed and no raw Nettles will be in the kits. The Wild Nettles create an earthy flavored pesto along with the silky mouthfeel of a traditional basil pesto and will be served over Homemade Tagliatelle pasta, which will be made the morning of delivery.
For the Tagliatelle, we are using imported Doppio Zero, or “00” Italian flour, which is finely ground and powdery, yielding a light and porous dough. The Italians categorize flour based on a scale of 2 for coarsely ground to “00” for fine. 00 is from the central part of the grain and is pure white, while with Type 2 contains the husk, the outer layer of the grain, and is darker and coarser. Double Zero flour is unique and distinctive from finely ground pastry flour found in the U.S., as the gluten behaves differently by producing both a strong and elastic noodle. It is this elasticity that provides for a superior chew and “mouth feel.”
The fresh pasta will only take one minute to cook in a pot of heavily salted water, which should taste like the sea. The pasta water will then be used to form the base for the sauce. We will offer a Duck Egg, Pancetta, and Chicken Breast as add-ons.
Time to Cook: 20 min.
Cook by Day: Saturday
Items included (serves 2)
Wild Stinging Nettle Pesto (Nettles, Olive Oil, Garlic, Pine Nuts, Parmesan)
Basil Pesto Substitute Available
Homemade Tagliatelle (00 Flour, Eggs)
*Menu items subject to slight variation based on the availability of fresh ingredients; Picture is not necessarily representative of final dish
Meal Contains (including add-ons): Wheat, Egg, Tree Nuts. We store, portion, and package various meal kits containing all eight (8) major allergens (milk, wheat, egg, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, and tree nuts) and cannot guarantee that cross-contamination will not occur between kits.
Add-on Checkout Items
Amish-Raised Free Range Chicken Breast