Nettle Spanikopita...Yum!!

This delicious dish is loved by all ages!

Adapted from Molly Katzen’s “Moosewood” cookbook, this classic Greek recipe’s wild addition was inspired by Rosemary Gladstar and packs a nutritional punch in every delicious bite.

Please wear gloves when harvesting and preparing the nettles to prevent being “stung” by the tiny formic-acid-containing hairs on the plant.

Once cooked, the formic acid is destroyed and you are left with a highly nutritious vegetable. The iron content alone is higher than spinach!!


 Nettle Spanikopita Recipe

  • ½ lb. melted organic butter
  • 2 c organic onion, minced
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 2Tbsp. flour
  • 3Tbsp. organic butter
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. dried organic basil leaf, powdered
  • 1 tsp. dried organic oregano leaf, powdered
  • 2½ pounds wild stinging nettle (young nettles under 8 inches tall are best) or a combination of nettle and fresh spinach leaves. Cleaned, de-stemmed & chopped.
  • 3 cloves organic garlic, minced
  • 3 T unbleached flour
  • 1 pound (2 cups) organic feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 c organic cottage or ricotta cheese
  • 1 T black pepper
  • 1 pound organic phyllo pastry leaves

Preheat oven to 375º.

Steam chopped greens (nettles take longer than spinach).

Sauté onion, salt, basil, and oregano in 2 T butter for 5 minutes.

Turn down to medium, stir in garlic and flour, and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the cheeses, greens and pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper as desired.

Place a sheet of filo in a well buttered 9 x13 baking dish (it will overlap the sides). Keep the rest of the dough moist between damp towels while working. Brush generously with butter, lay another on top, brush with butter, and repeat for a total of 8 sheets.

Spread half of the nettle mixture over the dough. Lay out another 8 sheets of filo as above. Spread the rest of the spinach on top, lay out the rest of the filo as above.

Brush the top with butter and tuck the filo sheets into the pan.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, until golden-brown and crispy.


Stinging Nettles