Nettle Pesto Recipe

Summer is here, the temperatures are lifting and everything green is bursting forth.... including the nettles!  Don't despair though, behind the sting lies a very useful and beneficial plant! Young nettles are great as a diuretic, a natural anti-inflammatory (used for allergies, asthma, rheumatism) and to treat high blood pressure... to name but a few benefits!

Inspired by this years emerging crop we decided to make some nettle pesto;  Usually when I make it I tend to throw in ingredients according to my taste preferences but for the purpose of this blog post I handled things a bit more scientifically and weighed out the ingredients.  Feel free to change them at will of course, it is very much a recipe to be "personalized"!

First up.... harvest your nettles, even better if you can recruit a helper or two, this was my "helper" for the task - gloves, hat and all!
My nettle picking helper... complete with gloves!

Wearing our nettle protecting gloves we headed out into the back garden and collected a large basin full of lovely nettles (harvesting the top two to three bracts)...
Our fresh nettle harvest

Next I removed the leaves and washed them, ending up with a colander full!
Picked, washed and ready for the pot
Next step was to blanch the nettle leaves, so they were added to a large pot of boiling water for two minutes then removed with a slotted spoon and added to iced water.
2 minutes in boiling water
Then straight into iced water

Then I placed all the nettles into a clean tea towel and squeeze out the water until the nettles are fairly dry


This left me with 100 g nettles, I was ready to make my pesto!

My ingredients...


100 g preped nettles
50 g pinenuts
Juice and zest of one lemon
150 mls olive oil
30 g parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic
Sea salt to taste
Pepper to taste

All that remained was to add all the ingredients together and blend, blitz or pound them to the preferred consistency.  
Grind to your preferred consistency

I got about 250 g of pesto from this, nicely filling four 150 ml bottles...

The finished product!

Guess what we are having for dinner this evening?

Further reading:

Stinging nettle pesto recipe
Nettle pesto recipe
Latest science on Rooibos and Nettle Tea

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