Nettle Butter

12:01 am on 5 September 2009


  • 2 bunches (3 firmly packed cups) nettles
  • 250 g butter
  • 1 teaspoon chopped French tarragon leaves (optional)
  • 1/4 strained lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground white pepper to taste


Wearing rubber gloves to avoid stings, pick the leaves off the nettles and wash well. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small saucepan, add nettles and cook for 1 minute, until thoroughly wilted (the sting disappears from the nettles once they are cooked). Squeeze nettles well to remove excess liquid, then chop very finely. You should end up with about 6 tablespoons of nettles.

Heat remaining butter in a frying pan and cook until it just starts to turn brown - watch it closely so that it doesn't foam over the sides of the pan and catch fire. Add nettles and allow to sizzle for a minute, taking care not to burn them. Add tarragon (if using) and lemon juice. Bring to the boil then remove from heat and add salt and pepper.

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

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