Wild Nettle Pesto
My fingers still numb from her silent sting. The fire she emits brings awareness to my skin, and nervous system. Respectfully I gather her nourishing leaves, and with careful preparation, unlock the medicine that is contained within her cells.
Nettles is a common herb that you've undoubtedly encountered in the garden during spring or a brush against while hiking in the woods. My herbalist teacher always said that nature provides the exact herbs we need in a given environment. These plants that may be considered a invasive are actually the antidote for the common ailments that we in modern society deal with. Nettle is full of vitamins and minerals, especially calcium and iron. It is known to help calm seasonal allergies and detoxify the body as we leave winter and jump into spring. Much of the food produce we eat today both conventional and organic is devoid of the nutrients due to poor soil practices, mono-crop farms, and time from farm to table. Eating wild foods such as nettle helps fill the void and supports our health, plus its free!
Now I know many people want to eat and forage wild foods, but where do we start? Nettles is perfect because it is easy to identify and can be thrown into soups, stir fry, tea and what I'm giving you today... PESTO!
Get you're gardening gloves out and head to the nearest woods, or even you're own backyard to gather your wild ingredients.
- 3 C fresh nettle leaves
- 4 garlic scapes or ramps (foraged or local)
- ¾ C pine nuts, almonds, or pumpkin seeds
- ¼ C extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbs lemon juice + lemon zest
- Put a pot of water on and when its boiling dump the fresh nettles in for just one minute.
- Strain well and get as much water out as possible. Add nettles to blender or food processor.
- Add garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, sea salt, and lemon juice.
- Pulse until smooth and creamy and salt to taste. Enjoy!