In spring, stinging nettles are at their sweetest, making May one of the best times of year to forage for the abundant leaf. Pick a handful on your next walk and try this simple and delicious recipe.

Nettle guide: where to find, how to pick safely and recipe ideas

Our guide on how to forage for nettles in Britain, with a few key details regarding where it can be found, characteristics and recipe ideas, plus how to pick and cook nettles without getting stung.


  • A bunch of fresh stinging nettles
  • Butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • Vegetable oil or sunflower oil


  • STEP 1

    Careful not to sting yourself, remove a cup-full of young nettle tops from the plant.

  • STEP 2

    Heat a frying pan with one tablespoon of butter. When the fat begins to bubble, throw the nettles into the pan and add a pinch of salt.

  • STEP 3

    Cook for two or three minutes, turning frequently until the leaves start to turn golden and crispy.

  • STEP 4

    Place the nettles onto a paper towel to cool and dry.

  • STEP 5

    Light, crispy and delicious, eat as a snack or serve with a main meal. Especially good on top of a spring or summer salad.