The Foodist: Wilted Dead Nettle Balsamic

The Foodist: Wilted Dead Nettle Balsamic

I have been waiting to try this for some time. I have dead nettle blooms everywhere at Mezzacello. So I am writing out The Foodist: Wilted Dead Nettle Balsamic with toast and a poached duck egg.

A few facts about Dead Nettle. It is entirely edible and full of health benefits. It tastes like spinach and the little purple flowers are sweet and delicious raw.

Purple Dead Nettle
Purple Dead Nettle

I strongly encourage you to wilt it or use it for baking. As the Herbal Academy in the link above mentions, the leaves are hairy, so raw you’re going to taste that. I have always used purple dead nettle as a treat for the rabbits, now I know better!

Also, I apologize for the photo! I was so sure this was not going to work, I didn’t bother to take a photo until after I had tasted it. Shame on me!


  • 2 Duck eggs
  • 2 bowls of room temp water
  • 2 Tbsp of vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp good balsamic Vinegar
  • Large bunch of baby spinach, stems removed (let the baby chicks eat them!)
  • Large bunch of dead nettle
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • splash of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Good bread for toast
  • Butter


  1. Prep a bowl with water. Add a Tbsp of vinegar. Crack a duck egg into this bowl. Place the bowl into a 1000W microwave for 2:20 minutes at 7 power. Repeat for the second egg – do NOT reuse the water from the first egg!
  2. In a pan, add the wine, oil, and a bit of water then throw in the spinach and let it start to wilt. Prep the dead nettle by rinsing it and then chop it up roughly. Hold back long stems and give those to the rabbits! Add the chopped dead nettle and continue to wilt. Add water if it gets too dry. Add in the salt and pepper and the balsamic to flavor.
  3. Prep the wilted greens on a plate and add a poached egg. Garnish with nettle flowers and salt and pepper. Serve with toast and butter if you’d like.

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