Friday, 7 September 2012

Stinging Nettle and Goats Cheese Risotto, and Spring Foraging

I made my first stinging nettle risotto of the season... sounds like I've been doing it for years doesn't it? Last year was not only my first venture into nettle cuisine but also my first attempt at risotto! I'm now well and truly addicted to making, and eating, both. If you haven't tasted cooked nettles they are similar to spinach. I love spinach, both cooked and raw, and as you can see have an abundant supply of organic nettles in my own garden and so as long as I want to use a blanched leaf and not a salad leaf, why not use nettles? It can't get more local than that...

You can link to the recipe I used here. Except that this time I was lazy and used a vegetable stock cube. I've actually found one that doesn't have anything dodgy in it. I added the blanched chopped nettles and then stirred in pieces of ripe goats cheese, then ate...yum...

This Spring foraging video by my favourite Alys Fowler has just introduced me to the idea of eating dandelion root in the same way I might use parsnips! Apparently fried, the flower-bud in the base, tastes a bit like globe artichoke.

I have used the leaves before, they are very bitter a little like radicchio but good in a mixed salad and I've drunk the root ground up to make a coffee substitute...(I know there's no substitute for coffee... I should say alternative that better...and I will stick to real coffee but for anyone who can't drink it for any reason it may be worth trying.)

The good news is that Alys is in the process of writing a book The Thrifty Forager:Living Off Your Local Landscape which you can pre-order from Waterstones. At £16.99 it's quite expensive but if I save up all my spinach and parsnip money, by July when it's available I should have enough to buy at least one copy!


  1. Your risotto looks very yummy. I have never tried stinging nettles and I am not even sure if you can get them over here. I assume they don't sting once cooked!

  2. I think that they are indigenous to the Northern Hemisphere Rel. Once blanched they lose the sting...thank goodness...although there's a little village in the UK where they have an annual stinging nettle eating competition to see who can eat the most raw leaves...!! I think I'll stick to blanched ones!

    They make a good tisane too and apparently are very good for you.

  3. Whoops didn't mean to republish this. Not sure how to edit old posts without publishing them again...