Nettle pesto

    15 min

    Put weeds to good use in a sauce that's bursting with so many vitamins and minerals, it could be called a tonic. It's a perfect complement to mild fish like halibut or grilled chicken, or add it to pasta or minestrone soup.

    3 people made this

    Serves: 16 

    • 70g hazelnuts
    • 330g nettles (including stems), or more to taste
    • 80g grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 120ml extra-virgin olive oil

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:5min  ›  Ready in:15min 

    1. Place hazelnuts in a dry pan over medium heat; cook and stir until toasted, 3 to 4 minutes.
    2. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Wearing gloves, add nettles to boiling water; cook until nettles are tender but still maintain the bright green colour, about 2 minutes. Immediately transfer to a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Let nettles cool and drain.
    3. Place the nettles in a clean kitchen cloth and squeeze out any excess water from the leaves.
    4. Combine nettles, hazelnuts, Parmesan cheese and salt in a food processor fitted with a puree blade. Pulse a few times before turning the processor on. Stream olive oil through the feeding tube while the processor is running until pesto is smooth.

    Cook's tips

    If you can't find enough nettles, you can bulk it up with spinach or other greens.


    Place pesto in a covered container and pour a layer olive oil over the surface.


    Try making nettle pesto pasta! Simply boil your favourite type of pasta; drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta cooking water to add back in with a couple of tablespoons of the pesto mixture. It makes for a creamier pasta.

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