The flavor of Stinging Nettle leaves is similar to spinach. Leaves can be used like spinach in egg dishes, soups or stews. Puree leaves for a variation on pesto or make Stinging Nettle pasta!
Stinging Nettle should be handled with care, using thick gloves or tongs. If touched, these needle-like hairs inject the stinging acid into the skin, triggering a burning, tingling sensation and an itchy rash. The symptoms usually do not persist longer than 24 hours. Washing, blanching or cooking the leaves and stem can rid the plant of its stinging qualities. Wash Stinging Nettles well in a colander under cool running water to remove dirt build-up and to remove the small needles.