Nettles are some of the most irritating plants. Tellingly they feature in an early 20th century expressionist opera, where one of the (obviously distressed) protagonists declares that they grow out of her, but is too weak to weed them out.
The grove next to our house is full of them during spring, but we are somehow reluctant to pick them. Instead we let some grow in the garden in Anavyssos, and collect the most tender leaves – of course with long sleeves, long pants, boots and gloves. When cooked they become harmless and add an extra aroma to the recipe. They are great in pies and risottos and make delicious omelettes.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 40g spring onions, the white and tender green parts, chopped
- 100g young nettle tops, washed, dried and chopped coarsely (Don’t forget to wear rubber gloves when you’re handling them)
- 30g dill, chopped
- 4 eggs
- 15g milk
- 80g feta cheese, crumbled
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and the milk. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a non stick frying pan over medium heat and cook the spring onion for about one minute. Add the nettles and cook for 4-5 minutes over low-medium heat until the leaves are wilted and tender. Stir in the chopped dill and cook for one more minute.
Add the whisked eggs and milk mixture. Tilt the frying pan so that the uncooked eggs flow into the open spaces. When the bottom of the omelette is cooked and lightly brown after about 2 minutes, sprinkle the crumbled feta on top and season with some freshly ground black pepper. Fold the omelette in half and cook for 1 more minute. (If the omelette still looks a little underdone to your taste, cover the pan and let cook for about 1 more minute).