Nettle and Parsely Pesto

Nettle and Parsley Pesto

By: Leah Scott

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh nettle leaves
  • 1 bunch of Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¾ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Stinging nettles are abundant in our part of the world and host many health benefits.  They are particularly useful in reducing inflammation and alleviating allergy symptoms, arthritis and skin complaints such as eczema.  As an iron-rich green, they are an optimal blood builder.  Foraging nettles is tricky due to the stinging quality, but wear gloves and gather the younger leaves on your next wander through the woods or along the banks of the Columbia.  The leaves must be blanched prior to use and the water can double as a nourishing tea to sip!

First blanch the nettles for a few minutes in a rolling boil, strain and allow leaves to dry thoroughly.  In a food processor, add garlic, olive oil and lemon juice.  Alternate adding nettles and parsley in pulses with pine nuts and cheese (if you choose) until the pesto comes together in a paste with some texture still.  Add salt and pepper to taste.