Recipe: Nettle tapenade with anchovies and crostini

Nettles are sautéd with onions and garlic and then braises with a little chicken stock to create this tapenade with anchovies on crostini.
(Mark Boster / LAT)

Total time: About 30 minutes

Servings: Makes 10 crostini

Note: From Water Grill executive chef David LeFevre. Stinging nettles are available at many local farmers markets. When handling the nettles, wear latex or exam gloves; rinse them in a sink full of cold water to remove any dirt. Carefully remove the leaves from the stalks. Marinated anchovies are available at Surfas in Culver City and Nicole’s in South Pasadena.


2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

10 slices crusty French bread, sliced on the bias

1. In a small pan over low heat, cook the garlic in the olive oil until soft but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and brush the slices of bread with the mixture.

2. Grill the bread (you can use a stovetop grill) over medium heat until golden brown and crunchy. Reserve.

Tapenade and assembly

3 tablespoons minced onion

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 cups stinging nettle leaves, washed

3/8 cup chicken stock

1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano

20 marinated white anchovy fillets

1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they begin to sweat, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the nettles and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes.

2. Add the chicken stock and braise until the greens are soft and the liquid is evaporated. Remove from the heat and cool.

3. On a cutting board, mince the nettle mixture and put it into a mixing bowl. Add the olives, sundried tomatoes and herbs.

4. Place about 2 tablespoons tapenade onto each crostino, then top with two anchovy fillets. Serve immediately.

Each crostino: 117 calories; 5 grams protein; 11 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 6 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 7 mg. cholesterol; 502 mg. sodium.