This Easter, I hunted for nettles, not eggs. Jeremy and I armed ourselves with paper bags and rubber gloves and headed to Discovery Park.
I wore a skirt. Yes, I know. I wore a skirt to forage for nettles. Not my smartest move, but the sun was out. And when the sun comes out in Seattle, you wear a skirt. Vitamin D levels are low these days.
So, I wore a skirt, foraged for nettles, and got stung. Luckily, I knew about the antidote plant, dock, that grows among the stinging beast and was able to take away the sting and enjoy the morning anyway. My knee didn’t look pretty, but I might have been a little bit proud to wear the welts. Foraging for nettles is hardcore. And we got it on video.
We came home with a baggie of miners lettuce, a bunch of Douglas fir, and two bagsÂ chock-full of nettles.Â Nettles that I can’t wait to use again for nettle spanakopita, the dish that I made twice last week, which ultimately depleted my last nettle harvest. So, here is my advice to you. Go have a foraging adventure, harvest some nettles and make this dish. Oh, and wear pants.
Filo dough, thawed
2 eggs, slightly beaten
~ 1 cup nettles, blanched and wrung out (like after making nettle tea – see this post)
~ 1 generous handful fresh spinach, rinsed
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
salt and pepper, to your liking
Put all the filling ingredients into a food processor and pulse until fairly smooth and combined. Stop once or twice to scrap down the sides.
Add this mixture to the mixing bowl with your eggs and mix to combine. Set aside while you prepare the filo.
Generously oil an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with olive oil and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Unroll the filo and cut a good amount of it to the size of your baking dish. Carefully, take one sheet at a time, brush it with olive oil, and set into the pan. Continue this process as you layer one sheet on top of another. This process can be frustrating, but it’s worth it. Take your time.
Once you have five or six layers on the bottom, spread about half of the filling mixture onto the filo. Repeat the process with another 5 layers or so. Add the other half of the mixture and top with another five layers. Tuck the top layers down into the sides of the pan and brush the top with olive oil.
Bake for about 40 minutes, until the top filo layers crisp up and the filling feels mostly firm. Put under the broiler for a few minutes to make the top golden brown.
Let it cool for about 5 minutes, cut into generous squares and enjoy!