Nettle and Mint Fritters

For more about nettles read this article I wrote for Culinate. And more fritters at The Fritter Chronicles.

Using tongs or wearing gloves, drop the nettles into boiling water (some recipes call for picking the leaves off the stems, but I never do). Cook them for about a minute, then lift out and let cool in a bowl. Squeeze out as much water as you can, and be sure to save all of the nettle water for something else (like soup). You want about a cup of cooked, packed nettle, but a bit more or less doesn’t matter.

Pick about twice as much mint (just eyeball the volume), using just the leaves, no stems. I had spring garlic and onions in my garden, so I pulled up a few of each, but you could also use a few cloves of garlic.

Put the nettle, mint, and garlic/onion in the food processor (you can chop everything by hand, which I do often); add about a half cup of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, a good pinch of salt, and about a quarter cup of bread crumbs. Process together until everything is finely chopped, then break 2-3 eggs in and pulse a few times. If the mixture won’t hold together, add another egg.

Heat enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom of a heavy skillet. Use two soup spoons to shape roughly walnut-size fritters, slide them carefully into the hot oil, flatten gently, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip over and brown the other side. Sprinkle with flor de sal and eat hot.