I tried nettle for the first time last year, encouraged by Denis Cotters recipe for Nettle Risotto which was absolutely delicious. It is a taste that I cannot describe, but I would encourage you to try it, even if it is as Nettle soup. And no, it won’t sting your tongue whilst your eating it.
Serves four or six as a starter
600g floury potato, peeled
60g young nettle leaves
60g hard goat cheese, grated. I used St Helens Farm goat cheese
1 egg yolk
Salt and pepper to taste
100g plain flour, you may need extra depending on potato consistency
1 tablespoon of olive oil
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of fresh sage leaves, if small keep whole, if large chop them.
3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
100g goats cheese, grated for sprinkling
For the gnocchi chop the potatoes into even sized pieces and boil them until tender. Mash the potatoes. Cook the nettle leaves for 5 minutes in boiling water, and then cool under cold water. Squeeze out all the water and mince the nettles as fine as you can with a knife of mezzaluna, then stir into the potato mash. Add 60g of grated cheese, egg yolk and season to taste. Add the flour and blend thoroughly.
Take a handful of potato mix and roll into a long tubular shape and cut of pieces into an inch long and place onto floured surface. Do this until all the potato mix has been used.
To cook gnocchi, drop batches into a large saucepan of boiling water. The gnocchi is done when it floats to the surface. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon until all are cooked. You can refrigerate at this stage, or freeze them for up to 10 days, but do coat in a little plain flour.
For butter sauce. Add oil and butter in a pan and fry garlic and sage leaves for a couple of minutes, then add the gnocchi stirring gently to reheat.
Share out the gnocchi between plates and sprinkle over the grated goats cheese. Serve immediately.
Inspired by Denis Cotters Wild Garlic, gooseberries and me