Thursday, June 6, 2013

Another Nettle Wednesday

It's Wednesday, so it's a riding day, so that means I have time to forage around the stables for nettles and other things.  I brought back a bunch of greens for Mocha's dinner:  curly dock, dandelion, sheep sorrel, red clover, a little oregano, and some other dandelion-like green.  I also grabbed a small amount of nettle tips and a handful of oregano for our pizza.

The pizza was an unexpected gift; we'd gone for dinner the other night at the home of our mason, who wanted me to meet his wife as we had a lot of cooking interests in common.  She has a tremendous vegetable garden, well organized and well placed with full sun and in a place that is easy to tend.  Her husband built the garden for her, including the retaining wall which held it in place.  He's quite proud of it, and with very good reason.  She is a woman of many talents.  She gardens, cans, makes cheese and cured meats, they even pick mushrooms!  For dinner, along with many other wonderful foods, she served home made pizza 3 ways - with tomato sauce (homemade) and cheese, with garlic and cheese, and with chopped up greens.  She sent us home with an entire tomato and cheese pizza and freshly made bread as well.  Wow!

Knowing the culinary leanings of my children, I sprinkled the fresh oregano on 2/3 of the pizza, and then spread chopped blanched nettles on half of the oregano'd part.  That left 1/3 of the pizza with just tomato sauce and cheese for the 8 year old and nettles and oregano in varying concentrations for the rest of us.  I drizzled the nettles with olive oil and baked the pizza in the oven for 15 minutes, until the cheese was melty again and the nettles were crispy on top and soft on the bottom.  It tasted really fresh and not excessively nettle-y.  Totally worth doing again!

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