If you pick the tender young leaves of stinging nettles (using gloves, of course) you can make a variety of dishes. In Italy we use them to make fillings for pasta (like tortelloni) and pies, to make risotto, soups, as a side vegetable, or in frittata. The other day I made these croquettes.
Pick only the tips, with the smaller leaves. The nettles need to be washed, and then boiled until tender. Once cooked they won't sting anymore! Then drain them (you can keep the water and use it as hair rinse against hair fall) and place them in a frying pan with garlic, olive oil and salt, and sauté them for a few minutes. Now they are ready to be eaten, but I went a bit further for the croquettes:
When cold I mix them with two egg yolks and lots of bread crumbs, enough to get a paste that could be shaped into croquettes. (I removed the garlic, not everybody likes to find a 'surprise' in their croquette!)
Finally I fried them in olive oil on both sides. Excellent hot, but they can also be eaten cold. If you make them flatter and larger they can be used as veggie burgers. Vegans could omit the egg yolk and use a little oil instead. Nettles are rich in vitamins A, C and D, and they are a good source of iron, calcium, potassium and manganese. The dried leaves also make an excellent tea.