Nettle and sage risotto

I’m getting some raised beds put on my little roof terrace so I can grow a few veg. I had to do a bit of tidying and in the process pulled a up a small nettle plant growing through the cracks in the decking. I also trimmed back a rather leggy sage bush. It seemed a good idea to bring them together in a risotto. The result was quite light and herby but also comforting, like any good risotto should be.


175 g risotto rice; glass dry white wine; 1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock; ½ medium onion, and 1 clove garlic, finely chopped; 2 tbsp olive oil; 2 tsp shredded fresh sage; bunch of young nettle leaves, washed and finely shredded; 3 tbsp parmesan;  salt and black pepper


Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic until soft then push to the sides of the pan or remove. Turn up the heat and add in the rice. Cook for a couple of minutes until just lightly ‘toasting’ and turn the heat back down to medium. Mix back in with the garlic and onion and add the wine.

Simmer together, stirring until the wine has been absorbed then start to add in the stock, a ladle at a time as it is absorbed. Keep stirring. After about 10 minutes stir in the nettles and half the chopped sage. After about 20 minutes, check the rice. If it’s cooked it will be soft on the outside with a gentle bite still in the centre. If it’s not keep adding stock, or water if you’ve run out of stock, until it’s ready. You will want a small amount of liquid still present to keep the rice loose.

Stir in the parmesan and taste and season. Serve with some virgin rapeseed oil (or olive oil) over the top.


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