Wild Plants—Even Stinging Ones—Wow Foodies

Organic foods make way for wild foods
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2009 10:01 AM CDT
Stinging nettle's bite can be neutralized by drying, boiling, or steaming the leaves.   (©Herr_Bert)
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(Newser) – Move aside, organic veggies—the new hot trend for foodies is eating wild. One forager recommends a leaf with "a bright green note that makes you sit up and pay attention, with a peppery zing. Imagine an untamed spinach." The Wall Street Journal investigates the herb he's speaking of: the humble, and apparently delicious, stinging nettle.

That bane of hikers is more nutritious than farmed plants, and it causes no tongue pain as long as you cook or dry the leaves before using them. Long used in a restorative tea, the stinging nettle can appear in soup, ravioli, and even pesto. The best harvesting time is early in the season, and the best harvesting accessory is a pair of heavy gloves.