So last week, with my fearless friends, I headed out to hunt for nettles. They were young and about six inches high, which is great for eating because they are tender and you can still eat the stalks, but made them a bit hard to find. Once we got the hang of it though, we were nettle harvesting machines. Though no particular step was difficult, there were many steps.
We found them and clipped them.
This time, we decided to wash them.
Then we blanched them and squeezed out all the water.
Chopped and sautéed them, and put them on pizza. We made a few kinds. My favorite was a thinly veiled version of the nettle pizza at Delancey last week: nettles, caramelized onions, and ricotta.
This is my trusty pizza dough recipe from Martha Stewart, many years back. Never fails to deliver flavorful, crispy, thin crust. Works well on the grill or in the oven.
2 cups warm water½ t sugar
2 packets active dry yeast
3T olive oil
6 cups flour
1T Kosher salt
- Mix water, sugar, and yeast in a bowl until the yeast has dissolved. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Mix flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the yeast water. Knead for 5 minutes. (You can do this by hand if you don't have a mixer.)
- Turn the dough onto a floured counter, make it into a ball, and put it in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 40-60 minutes, until doubled.
- Punch it down, fold it over a few times, make it into a ball again, put it back in the bowl, cover and let it rise for another 40-60 minutes.
- Turn the dough onto the floured counter and cut it into 6 chunks. Knead each chunk into a ball and cover 5 of them with plastic. Flatten the remaining ball into a little disc and let it sit for 5 minutes. When the 5 minutes are up, remove another ball and flatten it. Then roll the rested disc into a pizza crust (8-10 inches in diameter). Repeat with all the dough balls.
- You can store the uncooked crusts, layered with parchment and wrapped with plastic, for a few days. When you’re ready to cook, oil them generously, top them sparingly, and cook as hot as you can for 5-10 minutes. My oven goes to 550 degrees, and the bbq gets hotter.