gardener’s revenge – nettle pesto

10 Apr

I one thing we have always grown really well on the allotment are nettles! It really isn’t intentional, but we seem to grow a super strength variety. One caught me today, stinging me through a glove and I spent a good five minutes, nearly crying, trying to find a doc leaf to rub on the sting. It still hurts now 3 hours later; they really are weapons grade nettles!

I made loads of this, some to freeze and some to eat straight away.

125g blanched nettles ( about 1/4 carrier bag)

2 garlic cloves chopped

50g pine nuts

60g grated parmesan ( or other hard cheese)

80 ml extra olive oil

1tbsp lemon juice.

First blanche the nettles in boiling water to de sting them. Drain the nettles, and leave to cool. When cold, combine with other ingredients and blend until smooth. This recipe makes a very thick pesto, so you can add more oil as you wish but it is easier to get into ice-cube trays ( my prefered method of freezing) and add more oil or other ingredients when you come to use it.

To be honest I didn’t detect a particularly nettley taste, the cheese and garlic take centre stage, but it is a fantastic green colour; and knowing I had made something tasty out something that pains me on a regular basis made it all the tastier!

Disclaimer. Wear gloves when picking nettles. Only pick from an area you know has not been sprayed with weed killer or other nasties. Just the top leaves will do, please pick responsibly! Remember to rinse the nettles before cooking to remove any bugs, grit, etc.


2 Responses to “gardener’s revenge – nettle pesto”

  1. Rich Samuels April 11, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    I made some the other day, slightly different recipe as I used breadcrumbs in place of pine nuts. I found that chop sticks were a good tool to handle them with in the kitchen until blanched.

    • thehungrysparrow April 13, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

      ooh that sounds good, probably a bit lighter than to one I made. Will give it a go when this batch is used up. Do you think it would freeze?

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