Thursday, 14 March 2013

Nettle & yoghurt risotto


1 cup risotto rice, 1 white onion, 
1 pint vegetable stock, 100ml Rachel's Organic Greek Yoghurt, 150g nettles, butter

Serves: 2 Preparation: 45 minutes

All risottos (no matter what the ingredients) can be made in 3 simple stages. The first is called tostatura - coating the rice in fat, the second involves cooking off some alcohol and the third involves releasing the starch from the rice one ladle of stock at a time. This risotto has the peppery freshness of nettles (which were late in season this year due to the snow) and a wonderful tang of yoghurt - a light change from my tendency towards rich, creamy risotto flavour combinations.

1) To prepare the nettles, pick them carefully by cutting through the lowest part of the stem with secateurs or good scissors, then pick them up by the stems and pop them in your foraging bag/basket. Pour into a colander and run under cold water until any bugs have been washed away. You can use rubber gloves to protect your hands when picking the leaves from the stems but years of cooking burns have given me asbestos fingers and a few stings in you really don't much notice the tingle any more. Drop the leaves in boiling water, stir once, then pour back into the colander. Plunge into ice water to stop the leaves cooking and retain their colour. Strain and set aside.

2) Dice the onion and sautee in a little butter until soft. Add the risotto rice and stir until the rice becomes transparent, revealing a white dot in the centre and pour in the wine.

3) Once the alcohol cooks off, add the first ladle of stock and stir through.

4) Continue adding the stock to the risotto, one ladle at a time, adding the nettles with the second to last ladle of stock.

5) When the rice has fluffed up and has become soft, stir through the yoghurt and serve.

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