Nettle pesto

A simple, light and fresh tasting meal in the Spring and early Summer.

Nettles are everywhere at this time of year and if you are new to foraging, you are unlikely to go wrong picking them. When picking nettles, you’ll need a thick pair of rubber gloves – marigolds are perfect! Only pick the small, young nettle tops, and from a spot unlikely to have been urinated on.

Stinging nettles are high in vitamin A and calcium and are a good source of protein.


  • 4 handfuls of pasta
  • 2 handfuls of fresh nettles
  • 25g Parmesan (grated)
  • 25g pine nuts
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)


Stick the pasta on to boil.

Meanwhile stick the nettles into a bowl and cover with boiled water. Leave to soak for 2 or 3 minutes, before straining through a sieve.

Put the nettles into a food processor, with the Parmesan, pine nuts & lemon juice. Season with a little salt and pepper. Blitz to form a paste.

When the pasta is done, drain and stir the pesto into the pasta. Heat gently, for a couple of minutes while stirring.

Divide between two bowls and serve immediately.

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