Stinging nettle is ouchy, but it sure is delicious and packed with minerals and vitamins, and if you have a young daughter that doesn't like salad, this is a great way to give her some super nutrition. The whole active process of picking, rinsing, parboiling, ice-bathing and spreading out to dehydrate takes about 1 hour, which I think is a long bit of prep time, so you'll want to treasure these and not eat them all at once.
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Step 1: Boil Water/ Gather Ice
Start a large pot of water on High and be sure you have lots of ice on hand. You will use the boiling water and ice to parboil your nettles.
Step 2: Pick Nettles
You'll want to use gloves. And wear a long sleeve shirt. I did neither,
so I got bit a few times. I'm sure the sock minimized the stings by a lot, though. Oh, well. The bites and poison are good for you, so they say. I also picked some dandelion greens. Crap, I can't believe my arm blocked the kitty cat! That is a sin on the web.
Step 3: Rinse Dirt Off
Don't be too picky about this, Dirt is okay, too. People in the South eat it, I hear. And kids eat mud pies and still manage to turn into adults.
Step 4: Parboil
Plug sink drain, dump all your ice into sink and add water.
I didn't mention this before, but you want to do all this by noon so that you give your ice machine enough time to make more ice by 4:00, for your 4:20 martini. (I'm typing this on a Sunday)
Dump bowl of greens into boiling water.
Stir for 30 seconds, then dump entire pot of greens and hot water into your ice bath. Stir for a minute or less and remove greens and place into colander to drain.
Step 5: Dehydrate
I have a food dehydrator. They are really neat and it makes the room smell great, especially when you are drying Hops. It will make the room smell like a blend of pot and citrus. But that is for another Instructable.
You want to spread the greens out on each layer. This is tedious because the parboiling process has collapsed the cell walls. Oh, I forgot to mention that the quick boiling also took the bite out of the nettles.
As you finish each layer, sprinkle Himalayan salt and freshly ground peppercorns over them. Adding other sprinkles is also an option, but I wanted to KIS.
I ran out of room so I added a wire rack on top to accommodate the rest.
Every two hours you want to rotate the trays, bringing the bottom-most to the top. I guess the wire rack will always be on the top top, though.
Actually, scratch that. It has been almost two hours and the new top looks almost done, so I'll replace the stuff on that tray with the wire rack contents, which are still pretty wet.
Speaking of scratching, I'm still kind of tingly from my bites.
Step 6: Enjoy!
Eat a few then save the rest. Put them in a pretty glass jar. Oh, and as far as the rotation for the dehydrator, once every hour is sufficient, because it is 5:00 and they are all done. And my index finger is still pulsing from the three bites that the stingers got through my socks, but sot no much as febore because I am moslty done wiht my Martini.