Tuesday, 27 August 2013

stinging nettle quiche with spelt pastry

stinging nettles are like an invading army in my garden..where ever there's a patch of bare soil they set up camp and they use stand over tactics on the other residents..i have a tendency to turn a bit of a blind eye to their goings on but this week i took the upper hand and gave them their marching orders from around the spinach and broad bean encampment.. 

stinging nettle quiche with spelt pastry
tea with hazel



250 gms spelt flour
100 gms cold butter diced
25 gms grated aged cheddar
1/2 teaspoon (tsp) chilli flakes
1 tsp lemon juice 
iced water


2 cups of nettle tops and young leaves*
4-6 young spinach plants
1 medium onion cut small
8-10 young spring onions cut fine
1 large tablespoon (tbs) parsley cut fine
1/2 tsp fine lemon zest
2 tbs parmesan
2 tbs aged cheddar
100 gms feta crumbled
250 mls single cream
4 eggs
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt**
1 tsp bacon fat



~ process flour and butter until it resembles fine bread crumbs
~ add cheese, chilli, lemon juice and enough cold water for the dough to just come together
~ remove from bowl on to a flour dusted bench, gently knead until the dough forms a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for an hour
~ roll the pastry to fit a 23 cm tart pan with a removable base
~ line with baking paper and baking beans and blind bake for 20 minutes at 200 deg c
~ remove paper and beans, cook for a further 10- 15 minutes, then remove from oven and cool


~ wash nettles and spinach well and steam separately until just wilted
~ place in colander over a bowl and leave to drain
~ cut the greens roughly with kitchen scissors while still in the colander and then press them gently with a spoon to extract a little more remaining moisture
~ saute diced onion in bacon fat until soft and set aside to cool
~ beat eggs with cream in a large pouring bowl
~ place all other ingredients in another large bowl, mix, and then distribute evenly over the pastry base
~ place the tart in the oven on a preheated tray and pour over the egg/ milk mix
~ cook at 180 deg c for 40 minutes or until the top is browned and the custard is set

*   just letting you know that i read recently that only young nettles should be eaten because after flowering and seed setting the leaves develop gritty particles called cystoliths, usually consisting of calcium carbonate, which can irritate the urinary tract..other sources (http://foragersharvest.com/stinging-nettle-cystoliths-self-heal/  http://www.eattheweeds.com/bet-your-life-on-it-myth-busting/contradict this premise..i don't know what to believe but for the sake of my kidneys i'll pick the young leaves until i have a definitive answer..
** i use murray river salt which is less salty than some other brands so less my be required if using an alternative salt


  1. This looks so yummy Jane and what a great way to deal with garden 'weeds'! I have them in my garden too although they are growing very slowly and I only have a few of them. When they are big enough I will be testing your pie!

  2. thanks jane..they're an all round good thing to have in the garden because they're good for the compost heap and water steeped in nettles makes a great fertiliser..that's if you can stand the pong.x.

  3. They certainly appear to have come to a most untimely (and tasty) end Jane ;).