Thursday, September 27, 2012

What Else to do with Nettles?

This is the time of year when, as the weather cools, the nettles start growing again.  Yesterday I picked a bunch of the tops of the plants; after blanching them it was about a cup.  But, other than soup and risotto, what else could I do with them?

Potato-nettle gratin!  I used 2 pounds of potatoes from my farm share and layered them with the nettles, salt and pepper, gruyere cheese and some half-and-half.  The recipe for potato gratin, from Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop, calls for heavy cream, but I didn't have any.  Half-and-half never really does the right thing when it's heated, though, but I'm much more likely to have it on hand than cream.  Anyway, this was baked for about an hour at 375 degrees and it was terrific.  The nettles really worked with the nuttiness of the gruyere.  Served with a steak and an arugula and goat cheese salad, it was a perfect autumn side dish.  I will definitely make this again!

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