Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Frittata with Wild Nettles, Ground Elder, and Ramsons

This morning I did my first real foraging of the year and brought home a small bag of young nettles and ground elder. I had gathered some ramsons the other day and knew I wanted to combine these three wild spring greens into a frittata. A frittata is an Italian egg dish, like a quiche without the crust. Layers of anything you like (mine always include potatoes, bacon and cheese) baked until golden and bubbly. The perfect spring dish.
As I was washing the greens in a colander, wondering what I should serve with the frittata once it was done, I heard the shuffling sound outside my door of the man who delivers my weekly box of organic produce and raw milk. It's always a little surprise what's inside. When I saw a cluster of radishes among the piles of fresh veggies and fruits, I knew I wanted to make little radish-butter finger sandwiches using organic brown bread from the local bakery. 

Spring Frittata with Wild Nettles, Ground Elder, and Ramsons

fistfull of spring greens washed of any debris, chopped
1/2 cup gouda grated or thinly sliced
4 tiny onions peeled and chopped
5 or 6 small potatoes boiled, peeled, sliced into rounds
4 strips of bacon cut into tiny pieces
salt, pepper

8 eggs room temperature
1/2 cup milk beat together with the eggs

soft butter for greasing pan

preheat oven to 200°C (392°F)

Make repeating layers with the first 6 ingredients evenly in a greased 9-inch pan.
Pour egg/milk mixture over.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. (your kitchen will be smelling lovely right about now!)
Serve warm with radish-butter finger sandwiches or a spring salad.

A note about collection stinging nettles:
One of the most fascinating things I've learned about the plant kingdom is that, where there is something harmful, the cure more often than not grows right beside it. So it is with nettles and the common 'weed' ribwort, or plantago , pictured here to the left. They often grow very close to one another. If your fingers are tingling from collecting nettles, make a knot out of a few ribwort leaves and rub and squeeze them between your palms until the juice is released. This juice will ease the pain and itching. It even helped sooth the uncomfortable bug bight my stepmother had last spring. 

On another note...
All of your heartfelt and sincere messages have touched me and uplifted me, AS ALWAYS. I am so grateful to you all. You teach me so much about myself, and about the goodness to be found in others. Thank you!

xoxo country girl


  1. OMG this looks absolutely amazing...I can almost bite right into that frittata! Yum...yum Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us.

    Happy Day!

    xoxo Gert

  2. YUM, Dawn!

    And on your last post, you are so right! It's so refreshing to be around people whose beauty shines from the inside. And just so you know, you ARE one of those people on your blog :)

    And you look AMAZING, healthy, rosy, HAPPY in the "now" photo.

  3. goodness gracious this sounds divine! I love that you are eating wild food Dawn. Hopefully when we make our big move on the summer to the Yukon, I will be able to do something similar.

  4. oh, yum! I am getting hungrier as I read this post!!!

  5. This is so simple, so delish, and a beautiful dish to serve. Fresh herbs enhance the flavor. Great recipe.

  6. ...i have to go get something to eat...oh, dawn..this looks so wonderful...and your photos and blog look amazing...

    just are you....inside and out

    sending love,

  7. this might have to be on my easter brunch table. Yum!

  8. this looks fantastic! beautiful photos as well!

  9. You are very clever to forage and then to cook such a scrumptious looking fritatta.

  10. Dawn...if I liked eggs, this would be on my menu for sure!! Looks beautiful, as always a feast for the eyes as well as the tummy!!
    About the nettles...not sure if it's the same plant, doesn't look like the picture exactly, but in the UK we are taught from babies to find dock leaves to rub on nettle stings - big, flat green leaves that grow nearby. Anyway, happy Easter & have a wonderful weekend!! xoxo Rachel

  11. hi dawn!
    i have been gardening and wondering what to do with all the spring onions that I have to 'weed' out....!
    I will try this recipe, minus the bacon.
    Maybe I can hollow out some egg shells to make it and use them for an Easter Art Project..
    I better get to work!

  12. P.S.
    You are so awesome!

  13. The photos here look gorgeous - I hope it tasted wonderful. It is interesting the addition of nettles. I've used nettles in soup but I thought that the boiling would remove the sting. If you bake a nettle in the oven - as you have in your fritatta - I guess that does the same thing? Just be awful to bit into it and sting your lips...but I guess it must be so? xxx PS Love the radish sandwich too!

  14. What a fantastic post! you are so clever and talented to first forage for your own food and then to cook and photograph it all so beautifully!
    your photos are so warm and welcoming and that frittata i can almost smell! yum! :)

  15. wow - how pretty and utterly delicious looking. We have a yard of nettles, and everyone tells us to pick them when they are young. So, I will give this a go!

  16. A frittata is the one way that I can manage to eat some eggs as I can mask their flavour with lots of other yummy ingredients! Although I usually fry the base for a few minutes to set and then I finish cooking it in the oven.
    Love your new food styling, it looks very good and natural :)
    I have been looking for ramsons in the evenings, but to no avail...will have to keep searching as I am desperate to taste them!
    Love Morwenna xoxo

  17. ...soooo nice to look at and so yummy I'm sure.
    Thank you Dawn!
    You make me proud to be your mom...

  18. ~this looks heavenly! thank you so for sharing...your welcome sign i have hanging outside our front door! i am delighted to have stumbled upon your blog and look forward to more...brightest blessings~



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