Here’s my recipe for Stinging Nettle Pesto. Stinging nettles are found in the corner of Banfield Commons Garden closest to Craigflower Road and the parking lot. As the nettles can sting, it’s advisable to wear gloves while gathering them. This recipe will give you about one cup of pesto.
- 3 tightly packed cups of stinging nettles (or one shopping bag full)
- 3 medium garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or raw hemp hearts or walnuts)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- rock or Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Wearing glove, pick three tightly packed cups of tender new nettle tops, or a loosely packed shopping bag full.
- Rinse the leaves in cold water and immediately place in a full pot of boiling water. Boil for one minute.
- Strain and rinse again under cold water. Squeeze to dry.
- Coarsely chop the nettles and put them in a food processor along with the garlic cloves and pine nuts. Pulse.
- While pulsing, slowing ad the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time.
- Season with salt and pepper. Add a little lemon juice to brighten the colour. Some people add parmesan cheese as with basil pesto.
Enjoy your pesto on pasta or spread on a cracker or cucumber round. It will keep in the fridge for several weeks and can be frozen.