Nettle Pesto

Along with a squabbling sister and having to eat tongue, stinging nettles were one of the pest of my early years. These fast growing herbacoes plants lined country roads waiting for false moves on the bicycle; they overran paths to favorite ditches and they always new when I was putting my shorts on. With their tiny, almost invisible stinging hairs that produced an intense, stinging pain, followed by a nasty redness and skin irritation, these innocent plants often reduced to tears, sending me running for mother, legs swollen and decorated with a pink rash. But older and wiser I now see nettles in a different light and they make for a superb, non-stinging, cooked vegetable.

Spending the last few days living in a forrest, somewhere in Sussex with wildlife expert and foreger Nick Weston, nettles were very much part of our menu and after an evening in his tree house supping his superb nettle beer the next day we took a group of young families forraging in the Sussex hedgrows. Far from being afraid of the stingers that lined the bridle path the fearless children who joined us bravely begun plucking the tender tops off fierce nettles that we later turned into a nattle pesto. For centuries nettles have been used in the treatment of arthrites, asthma and rheumatism and  it protects our respiratory and urinary systems. So if you are feeling a bit under the weather pop out to your local park, pick some nettles and get down with this classic nettle pesto.
  • 40 Nettle tops (steamed)
  • 8 bulbs of wild garlic (ideally pickled)
  • 1 handful of wild garlic leaves
  • A handful of grated parmesan
  • a healthy slug of olive oil
  • Salt to tatse
  • Juice of half a lemon 

1. Steam the nettles in a colander over some boiling water. 

2. Once your nettles have been steamed for about 5 minutes chop them and all the other ingredients and mix together in a deep bowl an add us much or as little oil as you desire. 

3. Wether you enjoy your pesto mixed into pasta, mopped up with home made flat bread or simple enjoyed on a cracker or crust of bread, this vitamin packed pesto will take the sting out of expensive supermarket alternatives.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 13th, 2012 at 14:22 and is filed under English Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

1 comment

  1. I salute your bravery to try and turned this “wild veggy” into a nutritious food. I’ll try it myself if same result will come out (LOL). I loved veggies and loved to give vegetable hampers as presents to my love ones.

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