The strange weather (snowstorm on May Day, I'm not going to let that one go for a while!) hasn't hurt the nettle patch one bit. Stinging nettle, Urtica dioica, needs to be cut back faithfully or its flowering cycle will take off before you know it. Then once it starts blooming and setting seed, harvest is over for the year because the leaves will contain a gritty substance irritating to the kidneys. For some of my other favorite uses of nettle, go here, here, and here.
Last night I made a quiche using 8-10 cups of freshly-picked nettle tops. The nettle leaves and stems were swished in water, towel-dried, and roughly chopped. Then the usual quiche-making method ensued using onion, fresh thyme leaves, garlic, half & half, eggs, swiss and feta cheese and oh my. It was so good. It would be fun to make this for a crowd and only tell them afterward that they'd just eaten stinging nettle. I did that once with catnip pesto. The end justifies the means sometimes.
A flat of Genovese basil grown from seed under lights in the basement will be sold at an organic plant sale this weekend. I hope it makes many jars of pesto for many people.
Thanks for visiting and happy weekending. xo