Stinging Nettle Pesto
Makes 6 Servings
When my wife tells me something is particularly healthy for her (nettles are apparently very healthy for women), you know that I am going to cook it for her … especially when it tastes this good. She isn’t into cheese, so I subbed the parmigiano reggiano with some lemon and then some extra flor de sal to finish it.
- 1/2 lb. Stinging Nettles
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 oz. pine nuts
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- juice of 3/4 of a lemon
- 1/4 cup of grated parmesan reggiano
Get a pot of boiling salted water going. Add the nettles and boil for about 90 seconds. Drain in a colander. (Caution: do not handle raw nettles with your bare hands because when they are uncooked they have a sting … cooking destroys the stinging agent).
Run cold water over the nettles and then squeeze most of the water out of them with your hands.
Next, put the nettles in a food processor or blender and add minced garlic, pine nuts, salt, pepper, a 1/2 cup of olive oil and lemon juice (or parmesan cheese). Process or blend until you get the consistency you want. If it is too dry, just keep adding olive oil until you get a nice sauce.
After you have a nice sauce, adjust your seasoning depending on your taste. Some people like it garlicky. Some like it salty or sour.
Finally…boil some pasta and toss it with the pesto. Or, you can embellish it with toasted pine nuts and caramelized onions. Sauteed kale works well too.
If you have left over nettles, you can make another batch or you can make some stinging nettle tea.
Wild Produce Recipes
Wild Produce Recipes
Stinging Nettles is a new herb to me but I think crabgrass would be tasty if made into a pesto too.
Interesting, Joan. I didn’t know that crabgrass was edible. I don’t think of nettles as an herb, but more like a dark leafy (and very tasty) green.
agree with justin: nettles are definitely a veggie. amazing to forage them wild (and free for me). nice flavor and they don’t lose too much substance from sauting or steaming. watch out for those stings though!!! it REALLY smarts. my husband always lets ME pick them, ha!