I think I can officially add “urban foraging” to the list I use to describe how I spend my free time. Open my fridge and you’ll see things precariously stacked in order to make room for the huge bags (yes, plural bags) of nettles I have stuffed inside. I realized the moment I answered the woman who asked me, “What are you going to do with all of those?” I am the Bubba Gump of nettles.
I am going bonkers with the nettles over here. And for good reason â€“ they’re super healthy and tasty too! I’m going with the general assumption that nettles will taste great in anything calling for spinach or leafy greens.
I’m dehydrating trays and trays of nettles like crazy, which I’ll use later for tea. The tea I hope will help me through this year’s allergy season. I may have succumbed to allergy shots, but I haven’t lost faith in nature’s remedies.
Last night, I discovered another winner – nettle pesto. Before we go any further though, you should know that I use the term “pesto” lightly. When I say I made pesto, what I really mean is that I made a super healthy puree that tastes delicious and looks like the real thing. Vegetables in disguise. You know I’m not afraid of eating my greens, but a little healthy in the form of something that feels like a splurge is fun every once in a while.
The final consistency of my “pesto” was pretty thick and a little awkward to mix into the pasta, but with a little patience, it incorporates beautifully. A little extra olive oil would help the pesto mix in more smoothly, but I was going for the healthy deliciousness angle.
about 1 cup nettles (stems and leaves), blanched, wrung out, and fluffed up
1/3 cup walnuts
2 Tablespoons olive oil
squeeze of lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
Put all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor except for the olive oil. Run until the mixture begins to become a smooth puree. With the food processor running, add the olive oil and process until incorporated and smooth.
Slather on anything needing a healthy dose of decadence. Enjoy!
Here are some other posts singing praises about nettles:
Five Things to do with Stinging Nettles – Freezing the tea in ice cube trays to use in soup stocks? Brilliant!
More Foraging Love by Seattle forager and author Langdon Cook
The Benefits of Foraging for Nettles and Dandelion – There’s a false Dandelion? I had no idea!