Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Stinging Nettles

I was packing up my booth after the market on Sunday when this guy walking by with two paper bags stopped and asked me if I wanted some nettles. He said he'd found a good patch of them and was on his way to sell them to Dandelion Herbs, down the street, but he had more than they'd be able to use.

I have friends who think it's wierd and frightening to accept food from a stranger this way, but for me it's an important part of market culture. There's so much surplus around, and it's fun to share and experiment.

My naturopath tells me to eat nettles when they're in season, and drink nettle tea. It's great for your immune system, especially for allergies.

You have to handle nettles with gloves, at least until you cook them, because they have potent stingers which make your skin itch and burn. Cooking neutralizes them. I'm going to steam mine, and eat them with some oil and vinegar.

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