The nettle risotto tastes of March and fresh grass, of flowering trees. Spring is the perfect season to rediscover the ingredients that nature offers us spontaneously after the hibernation of winter.
Nettle is a herbaceous plant that grows wild along ditches, river banks, uncultivated fields or in the woods.
Risotto with nettles is a first course that allows you to celebrate the arrival of spring: rice, much more than pasta, is able to enhance the delicate flavors of spring ingredients, such as nettles and wild herbs
How to harvest nettles
Nettle is a perennial plant belonging to the Urticaceae family. It derives its name from the fact that it has leaves and stems covered with hairs that cause itching and burning in contact with the skin. Nettles lose their stinging characteristic 12 hours after harvesting and in any case after cooking in boiling water.
Collect nettles using scissors and thick gloves, to avoid irritation. For food use it is advisable to collect nettles in areas far from traffic and other pollutants and toxic agents such as herbicides. For us it is very easy because all our field and that of the neighbors is all organic.
The recipe for risotto with nettles
Ingredients for 4 people
200 gr (1 cup fresh ) nettle leaves
320 g (1 1/2 cup) brown rice
vegetable broth(click for cubes recipe)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Tbsp. of grains of bee pollen
petals of rosemary or lavender or mallow
How to prepare nettle risotto
Choose nettles born far from sources of pollution. Collect them with scissors and handle them with thick gloves. Select only the freshest and most tender leaves, those that are located at the upper end of the plant,
Wash them thoroughly in plenty of cold water.
Cover the nettle leaves with water and put them to boil. When the leaves are almost undone (it will take about 20 min.) drain them, keeping the cooking water.
Blend the nettles and set aside.
Add a little vegetable stock cube to the nettle cooking water and boil.
Finely chop an onion and fry it in a saucepan with a little oil
Add the rice and let it toast for 5 min.
Add a ladle of broth to the nettles at a time and, when the rice has absorbed it, add more.
When there are 5 minutes to the end of cooking, add the blended nettles and season with salt and pepper.
Serve the risotto with fresh nettles in a bowl, completing the dish with a tablespoon of bee pollen grains and a few petals of rosemary or lavender or mallow flowers.
Nettle so underrated -is perfect in many dishes.
It has a low energy intake, mainly provided by proteins. It also contains a good amount of dietary fiber, while cholesterol is absent.
It is a food suitable for any type of diet, although, logically, nettle should be avoided in the diet of specifically hypersensitive people and in subjects who show adverse reactions to dietary histamine.
You can enrich the risotto with nettles creaming it with cheese or use Arborio white rice, and of course the traditional butter instead of EVOO.
This wanted to be an extra light risotto with nettle recipe.
Very inspiring and cool
That must be an intensive taste. I like to use dried nettles as herb in food, especially in scrambled eggs. I might try it as soon as the nettles have leaves here.
The taste is quite delicate. Probably as the herb is fresh while when dried is more intense.
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Great post! I never knew the stinging characteristic of nettles disappears after 12 hours – that’s good to know. Have you tried using nettle in other dishes besides risotto?
Thank you for following us, Maxwell. We used nettles for raviolo filling and for a pesto. All good sincerely.