The stinging nettle recipe

The stinging nettle recipe (mancare de urzici)

This is a recipe which can be done just a few times in the beginning of the spring when the stinging nettles are small. It’s a fasting recipe and even if I don’t fast I like a lot.

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  • stinging nettles can be bought in piles. At least 4 piles are required for a 2 persons meal.
  • green onion (a bundle)
  • 3-4 garlic gloves
  • 4 tbs of flour


  • only the leaves of the stinging nettles can be used. The rest should be thrown away. Separating the leaves from the rest of the plant is the most difficult part of the process and it takes quite a while not to mention the stinging nettle leaves sting

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  • wash very well the leaves in cold watter
  • boil water with salt and at the end add the leaves until they are soft
  • keep 2-3 cups of the liquid and throw the rest
  • mash the leaves in a paste
  • cut the onion and brown it in sunflower oil
  • add the leaves, the flour and the 2-3 cups of liquid
  • cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes
  • at the end add the garlic cut in small pieces
  • serve with bread or polenta
  • enjoy

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9 Responses

  1. Hi Len –

    Do you know where can one buy fresh stinging nettle here in the US? I grew up in Romania and all of the sudden I’ve started craving ‘mancare de urzici’. I’ve searched the web to find out where I can buy fresh nettles to cook, but it looks like everyone sells frozen stuff, or vitamins.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.


  2. Unfortunately no, the time for the stinging nettle should start in a few weeks here in romania.

  3. Frozen nettles work fine for this recipe, mom freezes large batches for me to prepare this dish for when I come in holiday

  4. Hi Len,

    Just followed your stinging nettle recipe and — Wow! Absolutely delicious! My partner and I have just returned this morning from foraging for some young stinging nettles here in Cambridge (UK) and they’re perfect right now. Although there were loads of them about, we just picked a small amount to see what it tasted like. I find it amazing that people don’t eat them more often – they’re so common and accessible when in season.

    Adding the flour really gave a great texture (along with the garlic and onion) and while the nettles are still young – we’re now thinking of adding them to a lasagna, in place of spinach, or as a filling in a savoury pancake! I sometimes love the idea of being able to go for a walk, spot plants and find uses for them – it might not beat the convenience of shopping in a supermarket, but it makes a refreshing change!

  5. Hi Brad, I’m very glad you liked this recipe. This year there was not much nettle here, maybe because of the long winter but as you said about a walk in the forest I did that this weekend and found the forest filled with ramsons, a much more strong flavored herb but still I got a bunch for a ramsons pesto. I was very content of the result.

  6. I was out walking near a lake not too far from here and found a big patch of nettles. I was able to gather them with my bare hands. We cooked them up with broccoli and they were delicious. I hope to gather more soon. Tonight I heard a woman read a poem about Finnish nettle soup and so I got inspired to gather more nettles and make soup!

  7. Anita, I knew that my grandmother was safe keeping the liquid when boiling the nettle as it was supposed to have many vitamins and minerals. I should try a soup, there must be some nettle left somewhere even if I have not seen in the market last days.

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