Nettle Pesto is the Besto

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Nettle Pesto is the Besto
27 August 2013

Today was magical. It was the first day in months that wasn’t windy, icy cold, raining, snowing or just plain grey. Winter is always a season you’re excited about in the beginning, red wine, open fires and crackly records playing, but by the last weeks of August the blues have truly settled in. So today I ceased the day and decided to make something that came from the outside, like the real outside. Like going for a walk and finding it on the side of the road or down the back paddock outside. I know some of you that live in the city may not have easy access to stinging nettle, but it is out there just keep your eyes open and if you can’t find it, then you can easily replace it with spinach or rocket.

Now, there are two big dangers in this recipe. One, parmesan cheese and two, goats cheese. I am not sure how you go cooking with these ingredients, but I tend to eat most of it before I have got it in to the dish. Just make sure you have enough for you and the pesto.

I have made this pesto nut free, replacing the nutty part of usual pesto recipes with sunflower seeds. I have to say I kinda like it more, ooooh controversial.

There are so many reasons why this recipe is the best(o). The two main reasons are, however, the kids BLOODY love it and you can use it in BLOODY everything! I make the kids sandwiches with it, make them pasta for dinner with it, put it in soups and pesto on eggs is a winner. I’d love to hear your best(o) pesto ideas too!

What you need

  • 3 big handfuls of stinging nettle
  • (please pick these suckers with gloves and if you have the younger nettle just use the whole thing, if it is the bigger and older version pick off the leaves)
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil (approx)
  • salt

What to do

  1. Once you have picked the leaves off your nettle (with gloves) or got your young plants place them in a pot of boiling water for  3 – 5 minutes.
  2. Drain the stinging nettle, that will no longer be stinging,  rinse with cold water and squeeze out all the excess liquid.
  3. Pop the nettle in to the blender and whizz.
  4. Then pop in parmesan cheese, followed by the sunflower seeds and a pinch of salt.
  5. Let the sunflower seeds get chopped up and then start drizzling in the olive oil.
  6. Drizzle the olive oil in until you are happy with the texture of your pesto. I like it thick, but easily spreadable. Just keep checking by opening the blender and tasting. Yum.

That’s it! How super easy and you have now made a staple in the kitchen that can be used to create the easiest lunches and dinners ever! AND you got to go and enjoy the sun whilst foraging for your nettle. Winning all round.