This is dead easy, and yes it is basically cheesie-toast wi’ nettles!


a large ‘glug’ of olive oil
a bag of nettle tops
a cup of creme fraiche
2 teaspoons of whole-grain mustard
a good hunk of Anster cheese
two slices of sourdough bread per person.


To collect the nettles wear thick gloves and pluck the leaves. The youngest new leaves are the best and tips of these the best of the best.

Heat the oil and add nettles stirring till they have wilted. Drain off the nettles and roughly chop them before adding to a bowl with mustard, crème fraich and half of the grated Anster cheese. You can use plain yoghurt in place of the crème fraiche.

Then spread the gooey nettly mix on to two slices of toasted sourdough (two for each person, one won’t be enough!). Then sprinkle on remaining cheese before grilling to perfection and adding some pepper. First salads of the year are an optional side.

This is a new twist on a very old recipe. The ‘rarebit recipes date back to a 1747 cookery book which gave a recipe for “Scots Rabbit” or Rare Bit as bread toasted on both sides and a slice of cheese, the same size as the bread, also toasted on both sides and laid on the buttered bread. The same book had “Welsh Rabbit” made in the same way but with mustard rubbed on the cheese. “English Rabbit” on the other hand had a glass of red wine poured over the toast before the cheese was added. The Scots version had ale added to the cheese mix. Take your pick!