Leaf crisps have to be one of the simplest cooked wild foods there are, and there are so many to choose from. Obviously, only edible leaves can be used, and you may get mixed results (mustard garlic for example, does not work!). Nettle leaf crisps are tasty, nutritious and a pleasant surprise for anyone who hasn’t tried them before.
- Enough oil to make 1cm deep in your pan (or use a deep-fat fryer)
- A handful of nettle leaves
- A pinch of salt
- Using gloves, pick the top 4 to 8 nettle leaves from plants that haven’t yet flowered. I love the unopened leaf buds that you sometimes find at the top.
- Get your cooking oil very hot.
- Drop a handful of nettle leaves in at a time, so as not to overcrowd the pan. Leave them for 10 to 15 seconds – keep a close eye on them, the cook and hence burn very quickly.
- Remove the leaves from the oil and place on some kitchen roll to drain.
- Add salt to taste and enjoy!
Note: Some people do still experience a little tingling in their lips and tongue – this is caused 50% by the now inert but still pointy stings, and 50% by your mind unable to forget that you’re eating stinging nettles!