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Eduardo Garcia's Nettle Pesto

Nettle Pesto

byEduardo Garcia
Total 20 mins, includes cooling time
Active 10 mins
Makes 1 cup
TIP: Carefully harvest wild nettles with gloves and clippers, or source them from your local farmers market. Wear gloves when handling stinging nettle, as it can irritate the skin. Once blanched, nettle is safe to handle. Nettles can be replaced with any herbaceous greens (arugula, basil, spinach, etc.). Nasturtium leaves can be replaced with any herbaceous greens.
  • 3 cups fresh nettles, leaves and tender stems (or other spicy or herbal greens; see Cook’s Note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the water and to taste
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup nasturtium leaves or baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1. Soak the nettles in a bowl of cold water and swish around a bit to clean off any dirt or little bugs that are clinging to the nettles.
    2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Cook the nettles until bright green and tender, about 30 seconds. Immediately place the nettles in the ice water to stop the cooking. Once the nettles have been blanched, they’re safe to handle. Squeeze as much of the moisture out of the nettles as you can. You should have about 1/2 cup blanched nettles.
    3. In a food processor, combine the nettles, basil, nasturtium leaves, almonds, olive oil, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Blend until all the nuts are chopped and the pesto reaches your desired consistency. Pulse in the Parmesan cheese. Taste the pesto and adjust the seasoning if needed. If the pesto is too thick, feel free to stream in a small amount of water to thin it slightly.