Nettle risotto with shrimps | House & Garden

Nassima Rothacker

Not using stock keeps the risotto lighter and allows the flavours to shine. What you save on the nettles can be spent on the shrimps – the tiny ones – though you could tip in a little tub of potted shrimps instead. And splash out on bottarga, if you are feeling flush.

Ingredients

  • Big bunch of young nettles
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 400g Carnaroli, Vialone Nano or Arborio rice
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 orange, finely grated zest
  • 375ml Prosecco
  • 140 brown shrimps
  • 1 lemon

To serve

  • 30g bottarga (if available)

Method

  1. Wearing good gloves and long sleeves, pick a basketful of young nettles. Strip the leaves from the stalks, wash in cold water and then drop them into a large saucepan of salted boiling water. Drain almost immediately and refresh in cold water. Squeeze them dry, then chop finely.
  2. Soften the onions in a heavy casserole with 50g of the butter for 10 minutes and then add the rice, turning it until well coated in butter. Add the nettles, season generously with sea salt and add the chilli flakes and orange zest, then the Prosecco. Stir gently for a few minutes, until the wine has been absorbed.
  3. With a kettle standing by, add around 200ml boiling water, equivalent to half the volume of the rice. Stir the risotto gently and occasionally (constant stirring breaks up the rice and increases the liquid needed to absorb the starch thus released), until the water has been absorbed, and then repeat the process.
  4. Carry on cooking gently for another 20-25 minutes, until the rice is cooked through but still slightly firm. The risotto should still be slightly liquid. Check the seasoning and then add the shrimps, stir in the remaining butter and sharpen with lemon juice. Serve immediately, grating the bottarga over each plate if you are using it.