The nettles in our yard are the perfect size for harvest. They are a young and tender 6-8 inches high. Unfortunately this is also when they're the most potent and their sting last several days. I bravely harvested a bag of leaves and stems - with a thick pair of leather gloves. Still with gloves; I snipped off the leaves, put them in a salad spinner to soak, and spin, then into the steamer.
The Salad; Steamed beets, tossed lightly with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper, on a bed of steamed nettles, topped with a sprinkle of creamy goat cheese.
It was delicious!