new potatoes save the stinging nettle post

apple blossom

This is my second attempt to write this post. The first go-around was to be about Stinging Nettles. The new ‘it’ food found on posh menus world-wide. An invasive herbal weed that commands a high price at farmer’s markets because it’s hateful to pick. It’s called ‘stinging’ for a reason. Everything I’ve researched about this, nasty-to-pick but oh-so-trendy-to-eat, green leaves me to believe that it grows on my farm. With Fynnigan in tow, off we went to forage. 

Five minutes into our hunt, I found it. I couldn’t believe my luck. Dispersed throughout an old blackberry bramble were dozens of stinging nettle shoots. With heavy-duty work gloves and a pair of garden shears, I harvested what I thought would yield two packed cups. My plan was to make stinging nettle pesto.Having the first task out-of-the-way, Fynn and I spent the next couple of hours photographing the profusion of apple blossoms and wild flowers surrounding the pastures. I’m so easily distracted.

wild azalea and apple blossoms
wild current
apple blossoms
wild current blossoms

Back in the kitchen, after removing the stinging nettle leaves from their stalks, I thought it wise to identify the particular species I’d found. Turns out, I picked young blackberry shoots. The only similarity to stinging nettle was the thorny stalks. Thank goodness for Google!

Blackberry leaves on the compost left me scrambling. Living at the farm makes running to the grocery store a bit tricky. Come on, Michelle, be resourceful. Of course! Apple blossoms aren’t the only beauties this time of year…

Every, self-respecting, Maritimer loves potatoes. I love them boiled, baked, mashed, fried but most of all I love them NEW. The recipe that I’m sharing today couldn’t be simpler and the flavour is out of this world. Not as sexy as Stinging Nettle Pesto but, at least, I know what I’m eating.

New Potatoes Poached in Cream
Serves 2
Preheat oven 325*F

2 servings of small new potatoes – portions vary
Whipping cream
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Small handful of fresh sage, leaves picked

new potatoes and sage poached in cream

THE STEPS:

  • Cut potatoes in half vertically
  • Place cut potatoes and sage leaves, in one layer, in a shallow baking dish.
  • Pour cream over potatoes until it reaches halfway up the sides of the potatoes.
  • Season with sea salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 1 hour covered with tin foil.
  • Remove foil and brown top under your broiler.

THE LOVE: The beautiful thing about this dish is that you can make it for one person or a crowd. Don’t be tempted to increase the heat. The magic happens because of the time the potatoes have to absorb the cream in the slow oven!

one year ago: homemade Montreal steak spice

two years ago: chive and lemon zest butter

three years ago: asparagus vinaigrette

new potatoes save the stinging nettle post / bitebymichelle.com

Thanks for reading.

  • Great story Michelle. We do have lots of stinging nettle in the area. I have seen folks out “harvesting” some but I have yet to try. I guess getting stung while out for a run in the rain one day has left me with a grudge. It hurts! 🙂 I would love to try it as a pesto though. Hopefully you’ll find some and post it, I would love to see it.

    • Michelle

      I’m definately going to keep looking and when I find it I’ll make the pesto!

  • Yummy! This takes me back to my childhood!

  • OMG. We just started Weight Watchers and the. Foodie devils are tempting me…sweets r not Nything but being an Irish gal. Those potatoes are calling my name

    • Michelle

      EEK! I’m so sorry!!!!!!!!!! but a treat every now and then won’t hurt…lol

  • Without even trying it yet, I’m pretty sure this is my favourite potato dish on earth!

    • Michelle

      Ha! Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Aside from being a trendy dish, nettles are really nature’s multi-vitamin. There is an informational website loaded with the medicinal uses of nettles, a traditional medicinal herb. http://www.nettlesforhealth.com

    • Michelle

      I’m still searching…Thanks for the info!