Nettle and Ricotta Frittata
I recently made two recipes from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from
As gingerly as I tried to handle my bunch of nettles before cooking them, I did get one small burn, but really, nothing to complain about. Once cooked, the nettles will not sting. The flavor of cooked nettles is very different from other greens. They are not bitter, but I would not say they are sweet or mild, either. They are sort of earthy and mineral. I will certainly try them again when I get a chance.
Nettle and Ricotta Frittata (adapted from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison)
1 bunch stinging nettles (my bunch was about ¾ pound)
1 small onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
olive oil (be liberal)
½ cup grated Romano (I used aged oldwick sheep cheese)
½ cup sheep’s milk ricotta or other ricotta
salt, pepper and paprika to taste
Wear gloves or some other kind of protection while handling raw nettles. Blanch the nettles in boiling water for about two minutes. Allow them to drain, pull the leaves off the stems, and chop the leaves.
Heat oil in a skillet and cook the onions and garlic over low heat until soft and fragrant. Add the chopped nettles and cook a few minutes more. Allow the vegetables to cool slightly. Beat the eggs and season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir in the nettles and cheeses, leaving the batter streaky. Heat some more oil in the skillet and pour in the nettle-egg mixture. When the bottom is set, place the pan under the broiler to cook the top. You can also bake the frittata at 375 for about 35 minutes.
A roundup of other dangerous but delicious vegetables is to be found at Sweetnicks.