Nutty & Nutritious
½ lb fresh stinging nettles
½ shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 tablespoons (1 stick/113g) salted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a few quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Carefully, without touching them, add the nettles to the boiling water. Cook for 5 minutes, until bright green and tender, stirring occasionally to keep everything submerged.
Using a slotted spoon, a spider or tongs, remove the cooked nettles and place in a colander to drain. (Save the broth for soup!) When the nettles are cool enough to handle, remove the tough, fibrous ends of the stems, and then squeeze out all the excess liquid. Pat them dry with paper towels, then finely chop.
In a small frying pan over a medium heat, sauté the shallot and garlic for a couple of minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the nettles and combine.
Add the cooled nettle mixture and butter to a food processor and pulse everything together until well combined and smooth. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Place nettle butter on a piece of plastic wrap, rolling it to form a tight little log. Wrap it like a piece of candy and pop in the fridge until chilled. Slice with a sharp knife and store in the refrigerator or freeze.