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Green Fritters
Nettle bhajis

Green Fritters

Delicately crunchy on the outside, soft and well flavoured in the middle, these fritters are very addictive. In Greece they are made with wild greens (Horta Keftedes) but they are just as good made with spinach or chard. However, this is the most delicious way to cook nettles that I have yet found, the taste is slightly nutty, not at all strong and they certainly don't sting! The fritters are lovely made with a mixture of green leaves so experiment and make them often.

Makes about 12 fritters                           Time taken 45 minutes (picking time extra)

fritters pic
200g greens (Chard/Spinach/Good King Henry/Nettles/Ground Elder)
1 teaspoon salt
60g self-raising flour
1 small onion finely chopped or a small bunch of Ramson leaves (Allium ursinum)
1 small egg
bunch or parsley, fennel and dill finely chopped
pepper
oil for frying

Wash the greens, cut off any large, tough stalks and leave to drain. If using some nettles you will need to wear rubber gloves.
Chop the greens finely, a large knife and a big chopping board helps as the shreds spring all over the place; if wearing gloves be careful not to slice off the tips of the fingers. Put the chopped greens into a large bowl, sprinkle on 1 teaspoon salt and rub and knead them with your hands to wilt them. If using nettles keep the gloves on. Chard will need more working than the other, softer greens. Leave for about 10 minutes while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
Finely chop the herbs and add them to the greens with a good grinding of black pepper. Sprinkle on the flour and stir well to coat the leaves. Then add the lightly beaten egg, stirring and mixing until the mixture just holds together.
Heat about half an inch of oil in a frying pan and fry tablespoons of the mixture, a few at a time, for about 3-4 minutes each side, turning them once to brown on both sides. Drain on paper towel (which can go in the compost once you have finished with it).

Serve the fritters hot or room temperature; they are good cold too if you can wait that long.

For a more substantial fritter add some diced Feta cheese to the mixture before adding the flour and egg.