Nettle Gnocchi - A Wild Food Recipe

gnocchithumb.JPGStinging nettles are normally a wild vegetable for the springtime and early summer, but you can sometimes find them out of season

That's what I did - and I used them to make nettle gnocchi

The Recipe


  • 175g Plain flour
  • 175g cooked potato
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Clove garlic
  • A large (gloved) handful of stinging nettle leaves


gnocchi2.JPGUse only fresh, young nettle tops - and just the leaves - the stalks can be stringy and unpleasant

To make the nettles more pleasant to handle, put them in a colander and wilt them by pouring over some boiling water - this may not completely de-sting them, but it helps

gnocchi3.jpgPut half the flour, plus all the other ingredients into a food processor

(Crush the garlic first, to ensure even blending)

Mix until thoroughly combined - it will form a soft paste

gnocchi4.JPGAdd the rest of the flour and run the processor again - this time, it should form a ball of dough

Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead it a little

Add a little more flour if it feels sticky at any time

gnocchi5.JPGCut the dough into several portions

Using floured hands, roll each portion out into a long sausage shape - about the thickness of a finger

Cut into small pieces, then (optionally) roll each of the pieces into little balls (gnocchi)

gnocchi6.JPGDrop the gnocchi into a large pan of rapidly-boiling salted water

(just a few at a time, to prevent them sticking together)

gnocchi7.JPGCook them for about four minutes

They will float to the surface when they are ready - scoop them out using a slotted spoon and drain them in a colander

Serve with any sauce you like, or pesto, or just a little olive oil, grated parmesan and pepper

Nettles Out Of Season

I picked these nettles in late September and they were just as good as any I could have picked in the spring - the trick is to visit patches that have been cut down and have regrown.

Nettle Gnocchi

The spicy green flavour of nettles is a perfect little lift for this dish - it perks up the gnocchi, without overpowering them

I served mine with a light sauce made from tomato. onions and little slices of cooked sausage