Nettles, better known as stinging nettles or tie, make a pleasant and nourishing vegetable if picked in the spring while they are still young and tender. They have a slightly bitter taste, somewhat like spinach, and are cooked in a similar way. When gathering nettles it is always advisable to wear gloves as the nettles contain formic acid which causes skin irritation. Be careful where you pick your nettles, as they may be sprayed with insecticide, which can be poisonous.

Gather only the young tips of the nettles. Wash them thoroughly under cold water. Place them in a large saucepan with only the water which is clinging to the leaves. Place the pan over low heat and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the nettles are tender.

Remove the pan from the heat and drain the nettles. Roughly chop up the leaves and add salt and pepper and a nut of butter. Serve immediately.

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