Nettle pesto

Home-made nettle pesto | H is for Home

The nettle patches around here are in fine form at the moment. For the past week or so, I’ve been telling myself off for not carrying rubber gloves and a large plastic bag when I go for a dog walk. Finally, I remembered to do it yesterday and picked myself a bagful of bright green, vibrant nettle tips.

Freshly picked nettle tips |H is for Home

I’ve previously shared recipes for nettle soup and nettle loaf. This time I’m making a batch of nettle pesto.

Grated Parmesan | H is for Home

The nettles take the place of basil and I’ve replaced the more traditional pine nuts with walnuts.

Nettle pesto ingredients in a food processor bowl | H is for Home

The taste and smell is much earthier than traditional pesto but can be used in exactly the same way. It’s a very versatile store cupboard ingredient. I like it with an extra glug of olive oil and mixed through plain spaghetti then finished with a spoonful of grated Parmesan. I also like adding a few small dollops of pesto to the top of a pizza before putting into in the oven. Justin thinks it’s great with roasted or pan fried meats too – and has just made chicken breast wrapped in smoked ham and filled with nettle pesto butter for this evening’s meal.