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Nettle tapenade crostini with anchovies

Nettle tapenade crostini with anchovies
Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

The maxim "no pain, no gain" doesn't resound in the kitchen the way that it does in the gym. Except maybe when it comes to stinging nettles, a common weed that looks like mint, cooks up like spinach, has a ... Read more

Total time: About 30 minutes | Makes 10 crostini


  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 slices crusty French bread, sliced on the bias

Step 1In 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.

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

Tapenade and assembly

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced onion
  • 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

Step 1In a large saute 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.

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

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

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

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.


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