Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Asparagus and sorrel risotto (and stinging nettle failure)

Many weeks ago (5/14/14), there was a bag of stinging nettles in the box, complete with duct tape sealing the bag and a warning label.
I'm not sure that veggies should come with warning labels. Or require you to wear kitchen gloves when preparing them.
I picked through the bags, removing the leaves to use.
Then boiled the leaves, longer than a typical blanching. You know, because there was duct tape on the bag and a warning label. You might say that they'll be fine after a quick blanching, but I want to boil them to be sure.
Once prepped, I started from this recipe for nettle and sorrel risotto. We were getting sorrel in the box back then as well.
Additionally, asparagus was growing in our yard, so I decided to add that as well.
I then tried a small bite of the prepped stinging nettles, now supposedly rendered harmless. At first, they seemed a bit tasteless. Then my throat started to feel a bit scratchy. I took a benadryl and put my carefully prepped stinging nettles into the compost bin. Husband maintains it was psychosomatic. I disagree.

So I decided just to make a risotto with asparagus and sorrel.

Started with 4 cups of veggie broth from the freezer.
Then I cooked an onion in the risotto pot...
...until it was translucent.
Then I added a cup of arborio rice.
After cooking the rice for 3 minutes or so, I added the asparagus.
Then I started adding broth a ladle at a time, adding more when the previous ladle was absorbed.
At the end, I stirred in the sorrel to wilt.
And finished it with some butter and pecorino romano.
I had mine as the main course.
Husband had his with a side to his fish.
The sorrel and asparagus was a great combination.

Many weeks later, I was served a stinging nettle pasta at Elizabeth Restaurant in Chicago.
I took another benadryl there after a bite of pasta. Husband continues to maintain it was psychosomatic. I have learned that I will avoid stinging nettles, even if cooked properly.

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