You see them growing on almost every corner of the street, yes indeed, stinging nettle. Whenever I pass them with my son, I always say “look out, be careful, those are the stinging plants!”… I think all of us consider this plant to be weeds… I did too… what I never told my son yet is that these plants are actually very high in nutritional value and you can make great food with them!
And now that I was in the mood to explore the neighbourhood for food, I decided to go to the little forest behind my house and pick some stinging nettle. Don’t forget to put on some gloves! Only pick the tops and if possible the younger lighter green ones, they taste the best.
Did you know that if you if you quickly cook them in boiling water they no longer sting? Great, because you do not want to be on fire after eating a nice pasta pesto!
If you pick and clean them, be aware that they are loved by caterpillars, so you might need to rescue a few of them.
Are you also in the mood to turn some weeds into great food?
stinging nettle pesto
pesto made from stinging nettle with roasted sunflower seeds, garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, walnut and olive oil
- 50 gr stinging nettle cooked and squeezed
- 10 gr basil leaves only
- 25 gr parmesan cheese
- 20 gr sunflower seeds
- 5 gr garlic 1 clove
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp walnut oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 pinch pepper
- 2 pinches salt
boil water, add the nettle leaves for 2 minutes so they will no longer sting. Drain and squeeze out as much water as you can
roast the sunflower seeds till golden brown, grate the parmesan cheese, roughly chop the basil and garlic
put the ingredients in your food processor and process till you have a nice structure. I like it not completely smooth. You can add more olive oil if you want the pesto to be thinner
season with pepper and salt to your own taste
if you want to keep it in a bit longer add a little layer of olive oil on top and store in the fridge