Nettle pesto is a killer spring recipe for several reasons. Nettle is natures spring tonic. Although it packs a sting when in the wild (shorts wearers beware!), it is loaded with nutrients – so much so that it has been used medicinally for hundreds of years.
In the kitchen, it’s best to think about nettles (once quickly blanched) as a substitute for spinach (or any other greens). Spinach lasagna becomes viola…..nettle lasagna. Mamma mia!
For the recipe, traditional pesto (minus the pine nuts) has been transformed into a seasonal, wild delicacy. Sure to fool any child into thinking they are eating some other green and sure to be an interesting conversation at the adult table.
Get creative, have fun, be wild!
Stinging Nettle Pesto
3/4 cup blanched nettles
1 cup olive oil (or more depending on desired consistency)
1/2 lemon, squeezed juice and zest
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tbsp. grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
Place nettles and garlic in a blender. Slowly add olive oil as you blend. Add lemon juice and continue to blend until smooth.
Add parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.
The pesto will keep for up 5 days in the fridge.