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Delicious Wild Nettle Pesto Recipe

This delicious wild nettle pesto recipe is a great traditional pesto alternative made from foraged nettles. With a taste not too dissimilar to spinach, it's great in pasta, or on pizzas or toasted sandwiches.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • One colander full of freshly picked nettles
  • 45 g of pine nuts
  • 45 g of vegetarian hard cheese grated (I used Twineham Grange hard cheese which is Vegetarian Society approved. If you’re not vegetarian then any hard cheese, such as parmesan or grana padano can be used)
  • 4 raw cloves of garlic
  • 140 ml of olive oil
  • 10 ml of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon of chilli flakes or more or less depending on your taste

Instructions

  1. Wash your nettles, and bring a large pot of salted water (just a pinch) to boil. When the water is boiling add your nettles to the pot and boil for two minutes.
  2. Remove your nettles from the pot and place in a bowl of cold water.
  3. Toast your pine nuts in a dry pan (no oil) until golden brown.
  4. Add the nuts to your food processor, and add your cloves of garlic, grated hard cheese, salt, pepper and lemon juice (and chilli flakes if you’re using them). Pulse for a minute or two until you have a grainy texture.
  5. Remove your nettles from the cold water and squeeze out as much water as you can. I placed my nettles in an old tea towel, twisted it up, and wrung it out to remove the excess water, but you can do it by hand as the nettles don’t sting after boiling.
  6. Add your nettles to the food processor, and pulse the mixture for a minute until it’s green and grainy.
  7. Whilst your food processor is still running slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto is quite gloopy. You may ending up using more or less olive oil than 140 ml depending on what your prefered consistency is.
  8. Transfer the pesto to a sterilised jar and store in the fridge for up to one week. Use as you would any pesto.