here’s my latest recipe for Lincolnshire Life Magazine… out now in all quality retailers…
… funny how the seasons come and go and all the latest culinary trends seem to follow… nettles have become the latest fad with the celebrity chefs and are being used in many of the swankiest restaurants, which I always find so funny when they grow absolutely everywhere and are considered the worst kind of weed. They’ve been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes for centuries and as many of you will know they also make a fantastically effective green dye. You should pick just the top four leaves on every plant and you’ll need to wear a pair of rubber gloves too! I’ve used them here along with a local blue cheese but if you’re still not convinced you can easily replace them with spinach.
…this recipe is ideal for a 9inch round fluted loose-bottomed flan dish
For the shortcrust pastry
250g plain flour
50g strong cheese – grated (I used a Lincolnshire Poacher)
a pinch of salt
water to mix
For the filling
3 large eggs – beaten
½ pint single cream
150g or ½ small tub of cottage cheese
1 large onion –finely sliced
20 tips of nettles
a large piece of Cotehill Blue cheese
salt and pepper
– make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour, add the salt and grate in the cheese and mix well,
then bring it together into a dough with a little water
– place in the fridge for 30 minutes
– after 30 minutes roll out the pastry on a floured surface and place it into a well buttered fluted flan dish
making sure you push the pastry well into the fluted ridges
– prick with a fork and blind bake for 15 minutes on 180C
– for the filling, caramelise the onions with a little butter and a pinch of sugar in a frying pan until golden, this can take up to 20 minutes
– carefully place the nettles into a pan and pour boiling water over them and let them sit in the hot water for 5 mins until they are soft. The boiling water will completely eradicate the sting!
– drain the nettles well and spread 2 thirds of them out, along with the caramelised onions into the base of the pastry case. Now crumble the cheese on top of the onions and nettles
– in a large bowl beat the eggs, then add the cream and cottage cheese along with some salt a pepper, stirring all the time. Pour this into the pastry case and then lay the remaining nettles onto the top
– bake for 25-30 minutes or until well-risen and golden brown. Once cooked, let it cool slightly on a wire rack before slipping it out of the fluted dish.
eat and of course, enjoy!