These wild greens with prickly stinging hairs which can apparently cause some seriously painful nasty results (think fire ants) should you touch them. Wait… why would you want to eat these? They are full of vitamins and nutrients and are consumed throughout most of the world.
So… should you be gallivanting through the woods, fields and or side of the road and come across these stinging nettles AND happen to have a pair of leather gloves in your hands (you do not want to get stung by these babies) then you are fully capable of making nettle tea or nettle soup or nettle sauce… you just have to make sure to blanch them first to get rid of the stinging hairs… back to how to make them into food?
There are two ways to get to the edible stage that I can think of:
1) As you are skipping along with your leather gloves, boiling pot, camping stove and a bucket of ice you come across some stinging nettles. You quickly don your gloves, pick out the most beautiful bunches of nettles, boil them and then quickly throw them onto ice to stop the cooking process. They are now edible.
2) You set out with a bag and leather gloves in the hopes of finding some nettles. You collect the nettles and bring them home to blanch and cook/freeze them.
I have no plans to go out and find nettles… as I generally have no plans to go out and forage for food unless it is on a farm that I know does not spray with nasty things like our city government does not.
Have you had nettles yet?