Something for Nothing

There are a lot of stinging nettles growing in my garden at the moment. I've heard they are good to eat and very good for you. I've added them in small quantities to things in the past but have not really used them to any great extent. On Saturday I had planned on making a particular recipe for dinner and then realised I didn't have enough of a few ingredients. While i was weeding I thought I would use some of the nettles, they looked so lush and green and I don't have a lot of leafy greens in the garden at the moment. I decided to make a stinging nettle and mushroom risotto. To prepare the nettles i washed them and then blanched them for about a minute, then refreshed them in cold water and squeezed out the excess water. I made a risotto in the usual fashion and stirred in the finely chopped nettles at the end. I took most of the leaves off the stalks and just used the leaves. Let me tell you the nettle risotto was delicious. The nettles have a mild and pleasant flavour, sweeter than spinach and a tiny bit astringent in the manner of sorrel but not as tart. The few stalks I left in were also very good and i would include more next time. We both really enjoyed this so tonight i think I will make a version of Horta Vrasta, using nettles, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice to go with my yogurt and poached egg dish.

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