In Australia we are blessed and cursed. We are blessed with many palatable treats that nature provides be they plant or animal. Cursed in that many of these species are considered a pest. Australia was the lonely continent for many a good eon, and it’s only in recent history where the land has been introduced to new flora and fauna, some with purpose and some arrived purely by chance and accident. The result is a beautiful multicultural diversity, not just of us bipeds but the many other varied elements of nature, plants, animal and fungi.
It was only a few years ago that I even learnt what potential the stinging nettle had. To me it had always just been an agricultural weed that I had learned about while studying Natural Resource Management many winters ago. There are both medicinal and culinary uses for this weed, and I’m particularly interested in the latter. The first option was a simple pesto, a no brainer. Boiled nettles, cheese, a few handfuls of pine nuts, some lemon rind, lemon juice, olive oil and there she is ready to dress some pasta. Simply put, it fed us, it was good for us and it tasted ridiculously good considering the minimal effort and ingredients used.