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Nettle Risotto

ingredients

4 oz (120 g) tender young nettle tops (net weight)
11 oz (320 g) risotto rice (e.g. arborio)
3 large shallots or 1 small onion
2 oz (60 g) butter
4 fl oz (120 ml) dry white wine
scant 2 3/4 pints (1 1/2 litres) chickenstock
1 oz grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

method

1. Heat the stock in a large saucepan. Wash the nettle leaves. Blanch for 2 minutes in boiling salted water, drain and chop very finely.

2. Peel the shallots, chop very finely and cook gently in half the butter in a large saucepan for a few minutes until tender. Add the chopped nettles and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring.

3. Sprinkle in the rice and cook over a slightly higher heat for 2 minutes while stirring. Pour in the wine.
Cook, uncovered, until all the wine has evaporated, then add about 8 fl oz (225 ml) boiling hot stock; leave the risotto to cook, stirring occasionally and adding about 4 fl oz (120 ml) boiling stock at intervals as the rice absorbs the liquid.

4. After about 14 - 15 minutes' cooking time the rice will be tender but still have a little 'bite' left in it when tested; take off the heat and stir in the remaining butter which will melt and make the rice look glossy; sprinkle with the freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste, stirring gently.

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