Nettles are quite recent addition to my kitchen adventures. I finally got around to foraging for them this spring and was geuinly surprised at how delicious they are. Somewhere between the subtle sweetness of swiss chard and the iron rich twang of kale, nettles work particularly well with nutty brown rice and the citrus twang of sumac.
I clocked some pretty strange looks, clad in yellow rubber gloves, scrambling though the bushes in my local park but it was all worth it, they are totally delicious and apparently packed with iron and a whole alphabet of vitamins! Try to pick the younger shoots on the top of the plant. Lay them out on a tray when you get home to allow any living things to escape and give them a good soaking. The nettles not the bugs! —sarah cotterell
Pop the washed nettle leaves in a saucepan and pour over the boiling water. Boil for a few minutes until wilted. Drain away the water and set aside.
Heat the oil in heavy based pan and add the spring onion, garlic and a pinch of salt. Gently fry for a 2-3 mins before adding the nettles. Fry for a few minutes, stirring frequently, before adding the cooked rice and juice and zest of lemon.
Allow the rice to heat through, stirring frequently. Check for seasoning and finnish with lots of sumac, a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and a drizzle of good olive oil.