Recipe: Stinging Nettle Pesto

By Cinda Chavich


• 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

• 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts or local hazelnuts

• 2 tbsp grated cheese (any hard cheese will do)

• 1/2 to 2/3 cup blanched nettles, chopped

Tip: Use the tender tips of young nettles and handle with gloves until they have been blanched.


Olive oil


With a pestle, crush the toasted pine nuts lightly in a mortar. If you are using a food processor, pulse a couple times.

Add the garlic, salt, cheese and nettles to the mortar and mash everything together. In the food processor, run the machine so everything combines, but isn’t a smooth paste. You want some texture.

Start adding olive oil. If you are making a spread, add about 2 tablespoons; if a pasta sauce, double that or more. Either way, add 1 tablespoon at a time, pounding and stirring to incorporate. If you are using the processor, drizzle it in a little at a time.

This recipe is from the March/April 2019 issue of YAM.