Try our Recipe for April – Nettle Pesto

With all the weeds starting to grow and take over in the garden – see our April Blog – how about an April recipe!
I have large patches of nettles in the wilder areas of my garden, they are very versatile and in general use can be treated as you would spinach (don’t worry, they lose their sting when cooked). However, if you would like to try something a little different how about a Nettle Pesto? This can be stirred into pasta, or drizzled over mashed potato, omelettes or added to a pizza.

Only pick nettles before the end of May or before they flower. After this they can upset your tummy.
Armed with gloves and a pair of scissors cut only the top tender leaves shaking to remove any insects, about a colander full, and then you will also need:
45 g of pine nuts
45 g of hard cheese such as parmesan or grana padano
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.
Wash your nettles first, then plunge them into a pan of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl of cold water.
Toast the pine nuts. In a food processor add the nuts, cheese, garlic, lemon juice and seasonings. Pulse until the mix is grainy. Wring out the nettles in an old tea towel to get rid of any excess water and add to the processor. Blitz until green, then start to add the olive oil slowly until the Nettle Pesto is gloopy. Transfer to a sterilised jar. This will keep in the fridge for up to a week.