Dipped in a light beer batter and fried, the juicy leaves of comfrey make tasty fritters that accent their delicate, mineral flavour. Served as a canapé or snack with more beer, they’re always very popular. 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.
- 100g white-flowered comfrey leaves
- 100g self raising flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg
- 300ml ice-cold beer
- Oil for deep-frying
- Wedges of lemon, to serve
- Wash and dry the comfrey leaves, discarding any that are discoloured or damaged.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, some seasoning and the egg. 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.
- If using a deep-fat fryer, preheat the oil to 180˚C. If you’re using a pan, choose a wide, deep one and do not fill it above a third of its depth with oil. Set over a high heat, and 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. Holding a comfrey leaf by its stem, drag it through the batter to coat it well. Take a second leaf of a similar size and do the same, then press the two leaves together. Lift up the leaf sandwich to allow excess batter to drip off, then lower carefully into the hot oil. 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.
- After a couple of minutes, the fritters should be golden brown on one side. Turn them over carefully with tongs, and cook the other side until golden brown and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.
- Repeat with the other leaves, cooking them in small batches. Hand round the leaves while they are hot, or keep them warm in a low oven. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over.
Recipe by Wild Food UK; development and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK