Used by the Ancient Greeks as a herbal remedy, nettles add an earthy flavour to this fresh and fragrant dish.
- 250 g nettles (see Note)
- 750 g cuttlefish, cleaned
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- 110 g (½ cup) white long grain rice
- 250 g sorrel or chicory leaves (see Note), roughly chopped
- 250 g spinach leaves, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup dill, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Drink 2012 Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ ($18)
Blanch nettles in a large saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute to neutralise sting. Drain and roughly chop. Set aside.
Cut cuttlefish body into 4 cm pieces and leave tentacles whole. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add all onions and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add cuttlefish, rice and 250 ml boiling water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until cuttlefish is tender and rice is al dente. Add sorrel, spinach and nettles, and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir through herbs and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and serve.
• Nettles, sorrel and chicory are available from select greengrocers.
Photography by Ben Dearnley.