Friday, 4 May 2012

nettle and cotehill blue cheese quiche

here's my latest recipe for Lincolnshire Life Magazine... out now in all quality retailers...

... funny how the seasons come and go and all the latest culinary trends seem to follow... nettles have become the latest fad with the celebrity chefs and are being used in many of the swankiest restaurants, which I always find so funny when they grow absolutely everywhere and are considered the worst kind of weed. They’ve been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes for centuries and as many of you will know they also make a fantastically effective green dye.  You should pick just the top four leaves on every plant and you’ll need to wear a pair of rubber gloves too!  I’ve used them here along with a local blue cheese but if you’re still not convinced you can easily replace them with spinach. 

...this recipe is ideal for a 9inch round fluted loose-bottomed flan dish

For the shortcrust pastry
250g plain flour
75g butter
50g strong cheese – grated (I used a Lincolnshire Poacher)
a pinch of salt
water to mix

For the filling
3 large eggs – beaten
½ pint single cream
150g or ½ small tub of cottage cheese
1 large onion –finely sliced
20 tips of nettles
a large piece of Cotehill Blue cheese
salt and pepper

- make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour, add the salt and grate in the cheese and mix well,
then bring it together into a dough with a little water

- place in the fridge for 30 minutes

- after 30 minutes roll out the pastry on a floured surface and place it into a well buttered fluted flan dish
making sure you push the pastry well into the fluted ridges

- prick with a fork and blind bake for 15 minutes on 180C

- for the filling, caramelise the onions with a little butter and a pinch of sugar in a frying pan until golden, this can take up to 20 minutes

- carefully place the nettles into a pan and pour boiling water over them and let them sit in the hot water for 5 mins until they are soft.  The boiling water will completely eradicate the sting!

- drain the nettles well and spread 2 thirds of them out, along with the caramelised onions into the base of the pastry case. Now crumble the cheese on top of the onions and nettles

- in a large bowl beat the eggs, then add the cream and cottage cheese along with some salt a pepper, stirring all the time.  Pour this into the pastry case and then lay the remaining nettles onto the top

- bake for 25-30 minutes or until well-risen and golden brown.  Once cooked, let it cool slightly on a wire rack before slipping it out of the fluted dish.

eat and of course, enjoy!


  1. It's the foraging trend, isn't it? There are some restaurateurs (such as Mat Follas at The Wild Garlic in Dorset) who've been cooking foraged food for many years, and it's been a key focus of his restaurant since it opened. And then there are others who've jumped on the foraging wagon and feel they must do so to be "on trend"!

    I was surprised recently though, the other day I saw a mother and her very young boys gathering nettles from a patch of land by the tube station, but a patch that is, how shall we put it, used as a doggy toilet. Was going to go and suggest to her she should avoid the plants near the edges of the patch and just go for those in the middle, but I was talking to the minicab lady and when I turned back, nettle collecting lady was gone!

  2. That's easily the cheesiest, goldenest, most glorious looking quiche I've seen in a while.

  3. That looks so scrummy- Great use of nettles-love them.

  4. I've never eaten nettles, do they taste anything like spinach? Though I guess if you cover them in cheese they will mainly taste of cheese :-)

  5. That looks really good - I particularly like that you have placed some of the top leaves carefully, so that the nettle shape is still recognisable.

  6. I have no excuse for not trying nettles as our allotment plus all the common areas are filled with them. Must remember to take along a pair of rubber gloves!
    Using in a tart with a good blue cheese sounds perfect :-)

  7. Oh I cooked with nettles today too...but this tart looks amazing...especially with blue cheese...mmm...

  8. It's the third time in a row today that I've seen nettles in recipes. ooh one was from debby actually haha. I was just sayign how I really liek the idea of eating wild foods, foraging and eating off the land, esp when these wild "weeds" are actualy super healing and great for the body, but just that I don't dare to. then I read debby's blog and saw she used alys fowler's book as a reference, and now I have no excuse. I'm glad more people are learning to make use of plants like these in their cooking, and for the inspiration it's giving to noobs like me (:

    P.S. how did the "singapore" noodles go?

  9. u drive me crazy with these pictures...

  10. That looks so good - I love that Cotehill Blue cheese and we have masses of nettles...

  11. Fabulous foraging dahling! We have nettles aplenty here on our farm, so I could really do to use them in cooking, love a good quiche/flan/tart (did you see the Hairy Bikers debate on the pie thing?) Also big fan of blue cheese too so will be bookmarking XXX

  12. Oh wow this looks good! I've never eaten nettle before and I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to try!

  13. Dom it looks gorgeous and I bet it tastes fantastic too. I've never paired nettles with blue cheese, so will have to try that. CTs a bit of a hard nut - when we go picking nettles I pick daintily with gloves on and he just goes for it bare handed and gets heaps more than I ever do!

  14. Just planted some Sea Thistles in the garden - wonder if they would suffice?
    Blue cheese in quiche now that would taste super.

  15. Hi Dom!!!! wow I love strong blue cheese.....and I love all the recipes with it!!! so I have to try this one!!!! yummy yummy!!!!!

  16. That looks very good indeed. I'd be willing to have a go with the nettles. I've had them in soup before, though they seemed pretty bland to me. The blue cheese would soon rectify that though!

  17. Please can I have a slice for lunch? Gorgeous!

  18. Sounds like an interesting idea! I've never tried nettles but there are plenty around here so perhaps I'll give it a go...and I love blue cheese! :-)

  19. I've never tried nettles, not sure I'd want to forage them from anywhere around here! I do love Cotehill blue though, I bet it's divine in a quiche!

  20. I've never eaten nettles and can't say they've ever appealed to me but I love the look of this. And with blue cheese too - yum.

  21. That looks great! I have never thought of adding cottage cheese to a quiche. Must remember that, although if I add blue cheese, I would have to make a mini quiche as I would be the only one eating it :)

  22. It looks delicious. I wonder who first decided to cook with nettles - they sting so horribly you would think they were poisonous. Maybe someone desperate for something to eat gave them a try.
    Am making a mushroom and wild garlic quiche today, from the recipe you posted last year....yum !!

  23. That looks amazing. I still have never tried nettles - seriously tempted by this recipe. Just wish you would make it for me so I didn't have to brave the pastry.

  24. Love, love, love this recipe Dom. I went on my first guided foraging walk last week (about to write it up) locally with a group who now run a restaurant with an entirely foraged local menu. Yes, it is a trend that some are quick to follow, but I think as with all things foodie, these things are cyclical. My grandmother always used to tell us that she survived the war eating nettle soup - she literally had to work at a labour camp and would go off to the forest to find nettles and make a soup with one potato, nettles and water! Much kudos to her! The original one-woman Noma!!! Love the local twist on your recipe and you've even inspired me to have a go at my own pastry as you've made it sound so easy. I might try it with a local goat's cheese.


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