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Daniel Hadida’s Fermented Wood Nettle Juice
THE MAIN THING I LEARNED ABOUT COOKING FROM MY MOM AND GRANDPARENTS was that wastefulness represented a lack of creativity. This has helped me to be very exploratory when it comes to preserving. Even failed attempts are groundwork for evolving our technique, and in time help get something better onto our menu. Two of the best examples of our successes are how we deal with chicory root and wood nettles. Both grow abundantly in our region and are very nutritious. With chicory we learned to grind, dehydrate and roast the raw roots, which we began using in sweet applications. The other big success was with wood nettles: we’ve learned that when we slowly ferment the leaves, the liquid that comes off of them is deep and savoury, like a vegetable soy sauce. We use it to season sauces and broths, as well as vegetable purées or to adjust glazes. — D.H

• wild wood nettle leaves

• salt


Weigh your wood nettle leaf harvest. Calculate 15 percent of that mass and add that amount of salt. Combine. Seal in jars and leave to ferment at room temperature for a few weeks. Transfer jars to cold storage room or refrigerator for 6 to 8 months. Drain the juice and use the savoury liquid for seasoning vegetable purées, vegetable broths, meat sauces, glazes—and much more.


These savoury flavours work well with a bold and hearty red wine from Tuscany, such as the Guado Al Tasso Il Bruciato from iconic Italian producer Marchesi Antinori.

Pairing  courtesy Mark Anthony Wines & Spirits.

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