I was sent a bunch of Stinging Nettles as a promotional challenge by a supplier of gourmet products. They asked me to come up with a completely original recipe that featured these Nettles. This is the result of their challenge. It is a luscious onion tart with nettles, sorrel and poached egg. It will certainly take away any of the sting you might feel when considering this super healthy green food! —Sippity Sup (Greg Henry)
fresh nettle leaves, blanched in boiling water for a minute (this removes the "sting"), drained and roughly chopped
Add the nettles to the sorrel and set them aside. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring about 3 minutes until they have softened somewhat. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two. Add all the greens to the pan along with the chicken stock. Stew the greens about 20 minutes, stirring often, until the moisture has nearly evaporated. Turn off the heat and set them aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay one sheet of the store-bought puff pastry on the counter in front of you. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 t dried marjoram. Lay the other sheet on top. Roll both sheets together into a rough 16x16 inch square. Cut this into 4 roughly 8x8 inch squares. Rustic shapes are just fine. Move the squares to two parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate.
Melt the butter in a large saute pan set over over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a few pinches of salt. Cook the onion, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Then continue to cook them, undisturbed, until they begin to brown on the edges. Stir the onions and cook another few moments undisturbed to further brown the onions now in contact with the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low and add the bay leaf, red pepper flakes if using and the remaining marjoram. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the onions are lightly golden, about 15-20 more minutes. Remove bay leaf and adjust seasoning.
Take the rolled out squares of dough from the refrigerator. Divide the onion mixture evenly between the dough squares leaving a 1-inch or so border. Fold these borders over themselves creating a raised edge. Crimp the dough all around to assure a good seal. Sprinkle the edges of the dough with a little additional salt.
Bake until the crust is golden brown about 35 minutes.
To serve. Heat the greens over medium heat, stirring often. At the same time bring a pot of water to a simmer over medium heat. Add the vinegar to the water. Crack an egg, keeping the yolk in tact, and carefully pour it into a small ramekin. Dip the ramekin into the simmering water allowing some of the water into the ramekin. Once the egg begins to whiten carefully pour it into the hot water. Use a spoon to gently roll the egg in the water before allowing it to settle to the bottom. Repeat with the other 3 eggs. Cook them 3 minutes and no more. Using a slotted spoon carefully move the eggs to a heated plate.
Top each onion tart with a fair amount of the greens, followed by one poached egg per tart. Sprinkle with pepper and serve warm.
NOTE: You will probably have to remove the leaves from the stems after you purchase your stinging nettles as this is how they most typically appear at markets. So please use gloves for this job.