Nettle omelette


About a week ago, on a lovely evening when we were working in the garden, an elderly gentleman stopped to chat. He complimented us on the neatness of our vegetable beds and then pointed north and said: ‘And whose garden is that mess over there?’
Well, that would be us as well. We just haven’t gotten around to doing much there except planting the trees. It’s mostly weeds with the occasional rhubarb or lovage plant left behind by the previous tenants poking through.

new garden in may

But that does not mean it’s not productive in its own way: there’s a particularly lush patch of nettles on a former composting site under the hazel tree. And since there are not many vegetables to harvest from our neat beds yet, I am thankful for this abundance. Plus I really do like the irony taste of nettles and appreciate their superior nutritional value.

nettle omelette
In the past I have used nettles to make soup, risotto, spanakopita and a quiche with sesame crust, but this recipe is the easiest and fastest of them all.

making omelette making omelette
An omelette is about the speediest dinner you can make and if you add a sprinkling of parmesan and lots of wilted nettles you’ve got a complete, balanced and delicious meal. Just the thing to cook after a day spent gardening!

Nettle omelette
We usually have 3 eggs per person but you may not be as greedy, in which case 2 might be enough. As for the nettles: I do not measure nor weigh them, so the best I can do as far as measurements are concerned is ‘a colander full of nettles’ – if you pick less, you’ll have less filling which might be a good idea if this is you first time eating nettles and you are getting used to their taste. Otherwise, exact quantities are not crucial.
Filling (enough for about 4 omelettes):
Nettle tops, a large colander filled to the brim
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, halved and cut in rings
Salt and pepper

Omelette per person:
Olive oil or butter for frying
2 -3 eggs
Salt and pepper
finely grated parmesan cheese

Roughly chop the nettles ( unless the tops are very small). Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and let cook till it becomes translucent. Add the nettle tops, stir and cover with a lid. Cook until the nettles are wilted, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
To make the omelette:
In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Season the eggs with salt and pepper. Heat the oil or butter in a frying pan – it should be quite hot but the butter should not brown yet. Pour in the eggs and as the omelette begins to cook, use a spatula to draw the eggs from the side to the middle and allow the uncooked eggs to run beneath. Repeat this about 3 – 4 times. Sprinkle the parmesan on top and let the omelette cook till just set but still soft. Put a generous helping of the nettles on one half of the omelette and fold it over. Let the omelette slide on a plate.

5 comments for “Nettle omelette

  1. 24/05/2016 at 14:02

    I should grab the nettles from our community garden before they get eradicated. The garden workers were allowing them to stay for people to eat but then someone pointed out that children play all over the place and might get stung.

    • vera@gtc
      24/05/2016 at 16:11

      That’s nice that they are counting on people to want to eat the nettles! And as far as the children are concerned: I think it will only take getting stung once for them to remember to avoid the nettle patch 🙂 It’s not dangerous and maybe we should not be so overprotective? But that might be my central European upbringing speaking – I don’t think this is something parents in the Czech Republic would concern themselves with 😉

  2. Marcia Luloff
    23/05/2016 at 19:55

    I think you should share the fact the the stems of mettles burn your fingers and you should wear gloves when handling them. I had a really nasty experience a couple of weeks ago, and would warn folks about that. They hurt for hours until I soak them in a baking soda paste for a long time. The pain finally went away. Not a pleasant experience.

    • Marcia Luloff
      23/05/2016 at 19:57

      Sorry nettles, I didn’t have my glasses on!!

    • vera@gtc
      23/05/2016 at 21:36

      You’re right, I probably should have mentioned that- wearing gloves makes the picking much more pleasant indeed. I usually forget to bring gloves so I know how it can sting 🙂 But I comfort myself with the thought that it’s good for blood circulation – a reason why nettles were used as a remedy for reumatism.

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