NETTLE OMELET WITH SPRING ONION

I know.... it's weird that we cultivate weeds in our backyard, especially when you consider how unfriendly nettles appear to be. One touch and you know why they're called "stinging" nettles. But this luscious weed is worth the hassle. Not only are stinging nettles absolutely delicious, they're super good for you...packed with fiber, protein, vitamins A, C, D, and K. Nettles are a miraculous anti-inflammatory, treatment of seasonal allergies, and a known blood purifier. We brew nettles as a simple tea, saute them as we could spinach or other tender greens, and puree them into pesto. Once nettles are cooked, the infamous sting disappears.

Nettles seem to be cropping up at more and more farmers' markets these days. I've even seen them at Monterey Market. Or if you're of the adventurous foraging ilk, you might find nettles growing wild nearby. Please, harvest the nettles with care. Using gloves is always a safe bet, though I find a good set of tongs and scissors to work for me as long as I'm careful not to casually brush my arm against the bush while harvesting.








Nettles and eggs make delicious companions. The tender greens are so good sauteed with a little spring onion and Parmesan and tucked into a tender omelet. Of course you can eat this dish for breakfast, but remember omelets make a nice lunch or easy supper.

If you're curious about nettles, read more here and here.

INGREDIENTS makes 1 omelet, though you can easily double, triple... the recipe to feed as many as you choose
  • 3 packed cups trimmed and washed nettle leaves (see my notes above about the necessary precautions for handling fresh nettles)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped spring onion or scallion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan 
  • 2-3 eggs
  • splash of water
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • unsalted butter
  • optional for garnish: chopped onion greens and/or onion blossoms
Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add nettle leaves. Use tongs to toss nettles and coat them in the warm oil. Add a sprinkling of sea salt to the greens. Cover the pan, turn then flame to low and continue to cook nettles for a few minutes until the leaves are wilted and tender.

Place cooked nettles on a cutting board, and coarsely chop. Set chopped nettles next to your stove so that you can easily add them to your omelet in just a few minutes. Place your grated Parm next to the stove top as well.

Set a small, well-seasoned cast iron (or non-stick) pan over medium heat so that it can thoroughly preheat before you cook your omelet. In the meantime, whisk eggs vigorously in a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and a tiny splash of tap water.

If you're new to cooking omelets and would like some visual help, you might want to check out this post from my archives. 

Place 1/2 tablespoon butter in the hot pan. Swirl it around to coat all sides. (If the pan is too hot and the butter browns, use a paper towel to wipe out the pan, adjust the flame and start with a fresh pat of butter.) Once the melted butter has coated the sides of the pan, immediately add the whisked eggs. Grab the handle of the pan and tilt it so the eggs evenly coat the bottom, and slightly up the sides of the pan. Once the eggs start to form large bubbles, use a spatula to pull the eggs from the edge towards the middle of the pan, letting the runny eggs fill the void. Repeat this action in 3-4 places until there's no longer any excess runny egg.

Once your eggs have a nice rumpled surface, sprinkle the grated Parm onto the omelet. Next add the chopped, cooked nettles. (If the omelet still looks a little underdone to your taste, turn the flame to low and cover the pan for just a minute or so. I personally like my omelets with a slightly gooey middle.) Slide the omelet from the pan onto a plate, letting it fold onto itself.

Serve omelet right away and garnish with onion greens (and blossoms, if you've got them.) Enjoy!
 

41 comments:

  1. I have never had nettles, and it makes me so sad! I'd love to try them this way, and I'd certainly love to try growing or even foraging for them. This post is making me crave an omelet so bad!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Kaitlin! I hope you can find some nettles... they're worth the hunt:)
      xo
      E

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  2. Delicious, refined and so healthy! I love nettles.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. Nettles are on my bucket list of must make something with them. I have had them before in gnocchi and they were simply divine. I love that you put them in an omlette and you have inspired me to search for them at the farmer's market this weekend and make something divine. Hope you are doing well!!! Cheers! Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, nettles are worth the search - I think you'll love having them in your kitchen. Once you've cooked away the sting, they are so versatile and tasty.
      Hope you're well too:)
      xoxo
      E

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  4. I have never eaten nettles. In the Greek countryside there are so many of them that the only thing I know about them is that they sting my bare legs like crazyyy! I don't know if I can find them in Holland but I will try. Love your omelette! And that first photo.... amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Magda, do people eat the wild nettles in Greece? Just curious.
      Let me know if you find them in Holland... I'd love to know:)
      Hope you're well!
      xoxo
      E

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  5. You have a knack of posting things that are new to me! I've been seeing nettles around the blogosphere recently, but this simple dish might be the one to push me to try them :-) If I can find them in Sweden, that is. I have a feeling I probably can. Lovely...as always!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Kristin. Nettles are worth a little search... so good and good for you too! xo E

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  6. But what do they taste like???

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hey Megan, they are tender and relatively mild, not totally unlike spinach. Because they aren't super potent in taste, nettles partner well with stronger flavors garlic, onions, etc...
      Do you guys have them at the markets in Seattle?
      xoxo to you guys,
      E

      Delete
  7. I grew up eating nettles (krapiva!) in Russia. It's cool to see them coming into style in the States :) I'm a big fan of nettle soup though this omelet sounds delicious!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Kasey, did you pick them wild in Russia? I love nettle soup - it just feels like nourishment in a bowl, doesn't it?
      I was just thinking about you this morning and hoping that you're doing well with that growing belly of yours.
      xoxo
      E

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  8. I have never had Nettles. I need to remedy this. Looks delish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oli, they are so so good for you and totally tasty. Worth the search.
      Hope you're well, my friend.
      xoxo
      E

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  9. I have a love of nettle also. We have a little bush growing under our deck out of little hands way which I harvest every few months to dry for tea. I also like to wilt some as a bed for poached eggs and hollandiase. It is quite miraculous how the stings disappear once heated. I once saw a picture of the nettle thistle under a microscope and it is made up of mostly water so hence why they dissolve when heated. Happy Cooking Erin x

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    Replies
    1. Nicola, always nice to hear from you. That's so smart to have your nettles under your deck, out of reach. That sting is no fun. I love your idea of wilted nettles with eggs and hollandaise- yum!!!
      xoxo
      E

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  10. UstabahippieMay 21, 2015

    Those little green guys look so harmless don't they. Yikes! they hurt! I have taken nettles in capsules for allergies, but never harvested and eaten them, out of fear! I will have to get over it and try this. Thanks for the encouragement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Give the fresh ones a try.... I think you'll love em. I know I'm not supposed to say this, but Tilden has amazing nettle patches right near the trails...
      xoxo
      E

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  11. I love nettles! They're delicious in soups and so good for you. I've never tried them in an omelette though - so simple but such a lovely idea xxx

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    Replies
    1. Kate, I love nettle soup too. I need to make a batch pronto... our nettle patch needs a good trimming:)
      xoxo
      E

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  12. Erin, this looks delicious. I must see if I can find some in our area. I've never prepared them myself but had an amazing nettle soup at a weekly potluck at the CSA where we volunteered. So, good and healthy.

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    1. Cred, what was in the nettle soup you had at your CSA potluck? Was it a puree? Just curious:)
      xo
      E

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  13. I'm always so impressed by people who forage, as silly as that probably sounds! I feel a bit out of my league when it comes to properly identifying plants, but I love the idea of incorporating nettles into Springtime meals for their health properties. This omelette also sounds so delicious! Fingers crossed my local market might have nettles available next weekend! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christine, I totally hear you about foraging.... it's definitely risky if you don't know what you're doing. Thank goodness so many of those wild foods like nettles have now come to market. I hope you can find some.
      xoxo
      E

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  14. You are so lucky to have nettles so close by. Now, if you have ramps growing in your vicinity, too, I'll truly be jealous! ;)

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    1. Carolyn, no ramps:( But feel free to raid my nettle patch anytime!
      xoxo
      E

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  15. I've never really cooked with nettles before but this sounds just wonderful - light and fresh and bursting with spring goodness. Hope the season is treating you and your family well! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathryn, you nailed it... nettles do taste like springtime!
      All well here - I hope the same goes for you (and that little garden of yours),
      xoxo
      E

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  16. Hehe - we totally cultivate weeds in our backyard too (only our backyard doesn't look nearly as pretty or inviting as yours...unless you're a deer looking for weeds). I'm going to have to look for nettles at the monterey market - last time I checked I couldn't find them, but I know this will be just the dish that'll make Lucas happy on this birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah! Especially with the drought situation, I'm loving weeds more and more. They are hearty and tasty, eh?
      I hope you're well and enjoying your new found doctorhood!
      xoxo
      E

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  17. I can eat eggs everyday and a good omelet recipe comes super handy when you are hungry but lazy to cook. I am yet to taste nettle, not sure if it's available out here. But quite tempted to try.

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    1. Kankana, me too. I'm a fan of the omelet lunch or really any eggs for that matter.
      Keep your eye out for nettles I think you'll enjoy them.
      xoxo
      E

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  18. I remember eating nettles back in my Northern California days, they are worth the pain. This omelet looks so simple and delicious!

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  19. This is such a gorgeous dish, Erin. I love your fresh, simple recipe. Your really know how to make seasonal produce shine. Happy almost summer! x

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    1. Kristie, thanks so much. Your sweet note meant a lot to me. xoxo

      Delete
  20. It feels very strange to write this, but I've never worked with nettles before. I've seen them on menus, but never ordered them. I think your words and photos are actually what's going to inspire me to finally see what all the hooplah is about!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are tricky buggers, but so worth it!
      Cheryl, I am loving your book! Making cilantro chicken for tomorrow and I'm still enjoying every bit of the mascarpone fro yo. You rock, lady.
      xoxo
      E

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  21. Hey Erin, when I first started picking nettles I remember reading recommendations to only pick the young shoots, as the more mature stems would have more lasting stinging powers or something like that. Can you dispel this myth? If I can keep picking them later in the season that will up their awesome factor! Thanks:)

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So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!

Thanks,
E

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