I think these nettle crisps are the nicest veggie crisps I've ever had. The nettles have a lovely crispy texture, and their mild flavour works well with various seasonings. You might be lucky enough to get your nettles for free, and they are super nutritious.
Why make them?
- It is quite satisfying to eat the weeds from your garden or your walk. You know they are fresh, and they are free!
- Nettle crisps are a tasty savoury snack. They are easy to nibble on, or use them to add texture to other dishes such as soups and salads. Of course, they make a perfect topping for nettle soup!
- Nettles are really nutritious. They are a great source of vitamins A,C, K, and several B vitamins. They are also rich in calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. And although not eaten in vast quantities, every little helps.
- Nettle crisps are also really easy to make. Just add your seasonings, and pop them in the oven.
Nettles. You want fresh young nettle leaves for this recipe. Pick the nettles before they come into flower. I find it easiest to just snip the tops off into a bag or colander. (The nettles will then regrow so you can use them later in the season.) Of course, make sure you're protected with gloves and long sleeves, as it's so easy to get stung. Once the stinging nettles have wilted in the heat of the oven, the sting will have vanished completely.
If you are picking stinging nettles from the wild, please make sure you've identified them correctly, and are away from busy roads and dog walking routes!
Olive oil. You need to coat the leaves with a little oil to help them crisp up. I used olive oil, but you could use another healthy oil if you prefer.
Salt and pepper. Add seasoning to suit your taste.
I decided to try coating some of the nettle leaves with a little Marmite. It was a little bit messy, but the end result was delicious. (Don't add extra salt if you are using Marmite)
Cheese. Leafy greens and cheese go really well together and the cheesy nettle crisps were lovely. I used grated mature cheddar, but Parmesan would also work well. You could also get a similar flavour by adding a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.
Of course, feel free to experiment with other flavours. Curry powder or spices such as cumin would work well. Or try some sweeter spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg.
How to make nettle crisps
Make sure that you handle the nettles with gloves until they are cooked!
Preheat the oven to 130 degrees (110 fan).
Discard the nettle stems, and tear any larger leaves into 1 or 2 pieces. Rinse and dry the leaves in a tea towel.
Add the oil to a bowl along with salt, pepper and any chosen spices. Add the leaves and stir to coat.
Spread the nettles leaves out on a baking tray. Try to space the leaves so that they're not touching as they'll crisp up better. If necessary, use a second tray.
Cook for 30 minutes. Turn the leaves over partway through cooking.
If you are using cheese, sprinkle over the nettle leaves partway through cooking when you turn them over.
If you are using Marmite, it's best to heat the oil in a saucepan and stir the Marmite into the hot oil. It doesn't melt completely, but it goes soft enough to smear over the nettle leaves.
How to serve?
These crispy nettle leaves are quite moreish, so pop them in a bowl and they'll disappear in no time. Or sprinkle them over a savoury dish for a little extra texture.
Nettle crisps are best eaten when they are freshly cooked.
Nettle leaves are similar to spinach in taste. They are quite mild in flavour.
Stinging nettles are rich in vitamins and minerals. They've been used by herbalists for many years, but the real benefit of this recipe is as a tasty snack.
Other nettles recipes you might like
Once you've started cooking with nettles, you'll wonder why you never used them before. You can use them in many recipes where you'd use cooked leafy greens such as spinach. Try them in soup or this stinging nettle pesto. And of course, they make a lovely refreshing mint and nettle tea.
If you enjoy foraging, you might also like to try this easy wild garlic hummus.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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- baking sheet
- 1 handful of stinging nettles
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Marmite
- 10g grated cheddar or parmesan
Use gloves when handling the nettles before they are cooked!
- Preheat the oven to 130 degrees (110 fan)
- Remove the nettle leaves from the stems and tear any larger leaves into 2 or 3 pieces. Wash and dry the leaves.
- Add the oil to a bowl and stir in any seasonings or spices. Add the nettle leaves to the bowl and mix well so that all the leaves are coated.
- Spread the leaves out on a baking tray. The leaves will crisp up better if they are not touching, so if necessary, use a second tray.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the leaves over, then bake for a further 15 minutes.
If using cheese
- Sprinkle the finely grated cheese over the nettles when you turn them over partway through cooking
If using Marmite
- Don't add extra salt to the recipe. Heat the oil in a small pan and stir in the Marmite. Add the nettle leaves and stir to coat.