Recipe: Stinging Nettle Pierogies

By Chef Tobias Grignon
Mamie Taylor’s Restaurant

I dreaded stinging nettles every time they came across my childhood dinner table on Vancouver Island. Kids hate green stuff, especially when it stings their legs during their forest adventures.

Nettles have since come represent for me the best my childhood home has to offer. They also bring me a palpable feeling of spring and late summer. At Mamie Taylor’s I use stinging nettles to make our extremely popular Stinging Nettle Perogies, which we serve on a bed of sautéed mushrooms with onion purée.

Here’s my recipe. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

Dough
5 cups flour
¼ cup butter, melted
2 eggs
¼ cup water
1 cup sour cream
Tsp salt

Filling
1 cup blanched and cleaned stinging nettles,
(approximately 1 lb raw)
1 cup ricotta
4 oz Swiss cheese, grated
1.5 oz parmesan, grated
1 large potato baked
¼ cup butter
¼ onion minced
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Mushroom mix
4 oz oyster mushrooms
8 oz cremini mushrooms (or wild, foraged mushrooms)
4 ox cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chopped tarragon
2 tbsp butter
½ Lemon

Onion puree
2 tbsp veg oil
3 large onions sliced
1 cup sour cream
Tbsp. salt

DIRECTIONS

Dough
Combine all the dry ingredients. Combine all the wet ingredients. Mix them together until a dough forms. Kneed for two to three minutes.
Let rest for 1 hour.

Filling
Sweat the onions in the butter and set aside. Scoop the soft baked potato flesh out of the skin into bowl and add the onions and the butter and mix until the potato is more or less the consistency of mashed potatoes. Finely chop the cooked nettles. Add the nettles, cheeses and seasoning to the potato mixture and set aside.

Onion puree
Thinly slice onions and cook with the oil and the salt in a covered pot over medium heat for about 1 hour or until they are very soft and very sweet but without letting them get brown. Add the sour cream and puree with a hand blender or with a food processor.

Pierogies
Fill a large pot with water and place on high heat to boil.  Roll out the the dough on a floured surface to 2 mm thickness. Cut in to 3 inch circles using a ring cutter or a small plate and a knife. Egg wash 1 side of the dough round and place 1 large Tbsp. of filling in the middle. Fold over the dough and press together using your finger tips. Boil the pierogies for about 3 minutes and strain. Set aside.

Mushroom Mix
In a frying pan, saute the mushrooms in the butter. Add the garlic and some salt and sweat for another two minutes. Add the tomatoes, tarragon and a good squeeze of lemon juice.

To Finish
Heat a large saute pan and fry the pierogies till golden brown in vegetable oil.

Spread the onion puree out on a plate. Scatter some of the sauted mushrooms on top of the puree and and top with the golden fried pierogies.