Braised Stinging Nettles and Yogurt
This recipe brings together some of the most nutritious and flavorful greens you can find this spring. Stinging nettle and cilantro leaves are braised for an hour in a garlic infused broth, and I added fresh oregano, radishes and yogurt at the end. I love using seasonal ingredients whenever possible, but stinging nettles always give me pause. They sting and require the use of heavy rubber gloves to handle comfortably.
Stinging nettles are native to Algeria and have been used in the cuisine of Berber and Arab inhabitants. They are less popular today but my parents remember them from their younger years. Here in the US, stinging nettles are abundant in the spring and can be found in every park, field and many farmers markets in the Northeast and Northwest, wherever there is an abundance of water and rich soil.
The bounty of our forests in the North East is an amazing treasure. Stinging nettles are one of the most abundant herbs you can find. Just make sure to bring gloves with you.
Braised stinging nettles and yogurt
This recipe uses ingredients that are abundant in Algeria. Serve it with bread for a light spring meal that is rich in protein and vitamins.
by Soumeya | May 2019
- Prep time: 20 minutes
- Cook time: 60 minutes
- Inactive time: 30 minutes
- Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- One bunch stinging nettles (12-20 ounces)
- One bunch cilantro*
- ½ teaspoon salt and more to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced *
- 1 cup low sodium vegetable stock
- 10 ounces greek yogurt or sour cream *
- 4 radishes, sliced and quartered *
- 3 oregano stalks, leaves plucked *
- Use gloves or kitchen tongs to handle the stinging nettles. Soak the stinging nettles in cold water. Drain the water and refill it at least twice.
- While the rest of the nettles are soaking, prepare a second bowl, fill it up with water. Start separating the stinging nettles from their stalks and place them in the second bowl.
- Remove the stems from the cilantro and leave the leaves as is. (see note)
- Heat the olive oil a medium pan (that has a lid). Add the stinging nettles after draining them. Lower the heat to medium and stir, 7 minutes.
- Add the cilantro, salt, and pepper and garlic. Stir and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer. If it begins to boil then lower the temperature so you can achieve a gentle simmer. Cover and let it cook for 40 minutes. Periodically check and stir. If it drys out completely add some more stock or water. The moisture should have evaporated at the end but not before.
- Remove from the heat and add the yogurt. Mix to combine.
- Add the radishes and oregano leaves.
- Serve at room temperature.
- Alternately, you can finely dice the cilantro #wastenothing
Denotes items that we prefer to be organic. Read more about it here: Items to buy organic when grocery shopping.