As everything turns green – it is nettle pesto time again

The lawn mowers are out, leaves are appearing on trees and all things green are starting to emerge…. including the nettles; but don’t despair, when you look at them change your thoughts from annoying, stinging weed to… nettle pesto!

 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!

Last year we decided to put all this natural goodness to some use and tested some nettle pesto recipes, tweaking the ingredients to what we had to hand, and what flavours we preferred. Here I revisit an old blog and share our preferred recipe.

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!
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
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
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
2 minutes in boiling water

 

 

Then straight into iced 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 were fairly dry

Squeezing out the nettles
Squeezing out the nettles

 

Ready to make pesto
Ready to make pesto

 

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

 

My ingredients

Pesto Ingredients
Pesto Ingredients
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
Grind to your preferred consistency

 

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

The finished product!
The finished product!

 

This pesto goes really well with plain old pasta, or just spread on nice crusty bread. It makes a lovely homemade gift too… just be sure to keep a jar for yourself!

 

Further reading:

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

 

nao

Science blogger and writer; Owner of Dr. How's Science Wows; Mother of three junior scientists who have taught me that to be a great scientist you need to look at life through the eyes of a child!

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