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Sautéed Stinging Nettles

Submitted by Sarah Amado


  • Stinging nettles

  • Olive oil or butter

  • Garlic 

  • Salt and pepper to taste


For cooking purposes, it's best to harvest young nettles in the spring, when the plants have more nutritional value. Leaves are coarsely toothed, pointed on the ends and can be several inches long. Younger, smaller leaves are more heart-shaped.

The stinging hairs on the plant are called trichomes. These tiny hairs are found on the stem and underside of the leaves. Be sure to wear gardening gloves while harvesting!



  1. Harvest stinging nettles and pull leaves off of the stems. Discard stems. 

  2. Using a strainer, rinse the leaves under running water to clean. 

  3. In a skillet, heat garlic in olive oil or butter and add nettle leaves. 

  4. Nettles only require a brief exposure to heat; overcooking this plant will turn it to mush!

  5. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Nettles are a delicious side dish on their own or can be added to your favorite sauces!  

Bonus use:

Stinging nettle tea

Stinging nettles are also used fresh and dried to make herbal teas. This plant is an antioxidant and known for its anti-inflammatory properties.


It can be helpful in easing:

  • Stress and tension

  • Muscle soreness and inflammation

  • Allergic reactions 

  • Digestion

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