Nettle quickly became my go-to plant in my dishes as they grow wildly everywhere here in Scotland. The best is to pick the young ones, as they are less stingy and less fiber-y. Comfrey on the other hand is something I never tried before and was introduced to me by one of our hosts at a farm we worked at.
Only white-flowered comfrey should be eaten—other varieties contain potentially harmful toxins—so wait for the plant to flower before you pick the leaves.
GF Comfrey Fritters with Glorious Wild Mushroom And Nettle Soup
- 100g white-flowered comfrey leaves
- 100g self-raising GF flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 300ml ice-cold GF beer
- 50ml vegan milk
- Oil for deep-frying
- 150g young nettle leaves
- 400g diced potatoes
- 120g sliced wild mushrooms
- 20g vegan parsley butter (or just plain vegan butter)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 1 l vegetable stock or water
- olive oil
- to taste salt, pepper
For the fritters:
1. Wash and dry the comfrey leaves, discarding any that are discolored or damaged.
2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, some seasoning and plant milk. Stir in half of the beer, beating with a whisk until you have a smooth, thick batter. Set aside while you prepare the oil for deep frying.
3. Using a pan, heat the oil over a high heat. To test if the oil is ready for frying, drop in a little of the batter – if it immediately rises surrounded in bubbles, the oil is hot enough. When the oil is up to temperature, whisk the remaining beer into the batter. Drag a comfrey leaf by its stem through the batter to coat it well. Carefully transfer it to the pan to fry. Repeat with more leaves, until you have a small batch cooking in the oil. Do not overcrowd the pan, or the leaves will all stick together and turn soggy.
4. After a couple of minutes, the fritters should be golden brown on one side. Turn them over carefully and fry the other side until golden brown and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.
For the soup:
1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and sauté over a low heat until soft. Add garlic and stir round.
2. Introduce mushrooms, potatoes and butter into the pan and combine thoroughly.
3. Turn up the heat and deglaze the pan with a small amount of the stock if needed.
4. Add nettles and allow to wilt into the mixture and give it a good stir.
5. Add stock and when it comes to boil, turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 30 mins.
6. Taste and adjust seasoning.
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Photo: Imola Toth