Vegan Stinging Nettle Pie

 reading time: 4 min





Last month my fiancé and I went foraging for nettles again, and we made this delicious, hearty, cheesy and totally vegan and wheat-free stinging nettle pie! It's easy to make, and even easier when using ready-made pie crust or pastry dough.
 
Here in Germany, wild nettle season is in full swing – and I'm here for it. Late April my fiancé and I went nettle foraging for the first time this year and came home with a huge bag of young stinging nettle leaves to make one of my favourite nettle recipes: Wild Garlic Nettle Strudel.

Around that time (when I was looking for Beltane recipes over on Gather Victoria) I coincidentally came across a blog post called The Why of Spring Nettle Pie, and beyond enjoying Danielle's article on re-connecting with our primal relationship to mother nature (who we've abused and poisoned over the past centuries by which we are ultimately harming ourselves), it also inspired me to come up with another stinging nettle recipe: nettle pie! With a nice flakey crust and wild weeds.

Mind you, I've been a huge fan of re-connecting with nature and living a more seasonal, eco-conscious life for a couple of years now, long before stumbling across Danielle's wonderful homepage and becoming slightly obsessed with it, lol (my other two favourite blogs / websites are
Wholehearted Eats and Grow Forage Cook Ferment). My love for gardening, harvesting and homemaking probably started with me planting a few herbs on my windowsill in the city apartment I shared with 4 other lovely humans, then planting an alder tree in the semi-wildernis of my parents' home, and now going out to forage for elderflowers and stinging nettle, dandelion and goutweed to make my own homemade delicious, nutritious recipes and also DIY skincare and herbal medicine from nature's gifts.

Now back to nettles ...

I LOVE stinging nettle! Although most people only know it as a "weed" with a painful sting, stinging nettle is a nutrient-packed superfood
that is particularly high in vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium. It is also a very versatile plant – it can be used for skin care, hair care, in smoothies, teas, soups, pesto ... and even as natural fertilizer! If you want to know more about that, check out my blog post on 12 Ways to Use Wild Stinging Nettle. (I also dry it and feed it to my guinea pigs!) Apparently, you can also make things like nettle beer and even nettle cake. I'll need to try that one day ...

But for now, let's – finally – make some nettle pie!


STINGING NETTLE PIE

adapted from Bake My Day Happy

Preparation time:
1 hour 30 mins
Main ingredients: stinging nettle, leek, flour
difficulty level: easy
yields: 8 slices (10-inch springform pan)
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, wheat-free, low-fat, sugar-free, yeast-free

Ingredients

Pie crust:
500 g flour (I used 300 g 1050 spelt flour + 200 g whole-grain spelt flour)
150 g vegan butter, chilled
1 tsp salt
about 1/2 cup ice cold water

Filling:
about 1 lb young stinging nettle leaves (the top 4-6 tender leaves)
a handful of brown mushrooms
2-3 spring onions
1 leek (or sub chard or spinach) *
a handful of fresh herbs (dill, thyme, parsley ...) *
1 white onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp vegan butter or olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
a pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup grated vegan "cheese" (I use the brand Simply V)
1/4 cup + 1/8 cup soy cream
zest of 1 organic lemon
(optional) 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

*
Feel free to add other spring greens to this pie, such as ramps, dandelion greens, plantain, goutweed, sticky weed, sorrel, arugula ...


Instructions

First prepare the pie crust (or use store-bought):
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse flour and salt. And cubed butter. Pulse a few times until pea-sized pieces form. Slowly add 1 tbsp of water at a time, stopping when you fill up your spoon with water.
Pulse and continue to add water until a ball has just formed with the dough.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the ball of dough in half. Roll out dough on top of plastic wrap, one ball at a time, to form the crust. Turn out dough into your pie pan and shape the edges by pushing your thumb of one hand into the thumb and pointer finger of your other hand on opposite edges of the dough and work all the way around.

For the pie filling, thoroughly rinse nettle leaves under running water (or fill a clean sink with cold water and swish your nettles around in there with tongs to get them as clean as you can muster). Bring some hot water to a boil and drop stinging nettles inside to quickly blanch, about 10 seconds or so. This takes away the stinging properties of the nettles! Place in a colander, and press down to drain any remaining water. Give them a rough chop, removing any tough stems, and set aside.

Finely chop onion and garlic. Chop up brown mushrooms. Sauté onions and garlic in vegan butter or olive oil over medium heat, then add chopped mushrooms. When everything starts to get translucent and aromatic, add washed and chopped leek to the pan. Lastly, add chopped spring onions, blanched nettles, and herbs. Sauté
for about 5 minutes.

Once everything has shrunk together, switch off heat. Mix in soy yoghurt, lemon zest and – optionally – nutritional yeast. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 °F / 180 °C.
 
Divide pie crust in 2 parts and roll it thin at the size of your pie dish (I use a 26 cm- or 10-inch springform pan). Grease the dish and line with one of the rolled out pie crust circles. Pre-cook pie crust for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. (or skip this step and prolong the overall baking time)

Pour the nettle filling into pie crust, then cover with remaining pie crust and crimp the edges. Cut slits in top, and lightly brush with vegan butter.

Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes or until the pie crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

Place the pan on a cooling rack and allow the pie to cool for about 10 minutes until warm (not hot) before cutting and serving. Serve plain or with a nice salad. E
njoy while still warm!


Foraging Guidelines:
  • You should be 100 % certain you are identifying the correct plant. If you do not know what it is, DO NOT eat it! Do not pick if you're in doubt!

  • Don't harvest from contaminated areas such as busy roadsides, near industrial facilities, where dogs pee, along the edges agricultural fields, old landfill sites etc.

  • Be mindful & harvest sustainably. Only pick from areas that have a plentiful supply, and never more than 1/4 of a plant, ideally only about 5 %.

  • Leave the harvesting area litter-free.



Looking for more nettle pie recipes?
Check out my blogpost on 12 Ways to Use Wild Stinging Nettle:





Maisy

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