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Nettle pesto - recipe for a green pesto off the trail

  • Stinging nettle test - instructions
    • You need that
    • recipe

Stinging nettles have a bad image but can do much more than you think. In the kitchen, they can be wonderfully transformed into healthy food and side dishes. Therefore, we would like to share with you this recipe for a fast, homemade, green pesto. This nettle pesto will inspire you!

The leaves of the stinging nettle not only burn, but also have many valuable ingredients. Especially the young shoots in spring are rich in minerals (silicon, calcium and magnesium). In addition to vitamin A, C and iron, it contains a lot of vegetable protein (especially the nettle seeds).

Tip: When picking, you should only note that you wear gloves and do not immediately collect the first plants on the roadside, as they could be contaminated. In the forest you will definitely find something.

Stinging nettle test - instructions

You need that

Ingredients for about 350 ml green pesto:

  • 200 g nettle leaves
  • 50 g pine nuts (alternatively sunflower seeds or cashews)
  • 100 ml high quality vegetable oil (eg: olive oil)
  • 60 g of grated hard cheese (Grana Padano or Parmesan) (alternatively feta cheese)
  • garlic
  • lemon
  • pepper
  • Salt (sea salt)
  • ice cubes


  • cooking pot
  • pan
  • bowl
  • Cleaver, chopper or scissors
  • Mortar and pestle (food processor, blender)
  • spoon
  • gloves
  • Lockable sterilized glass
  • Disposable gloves
  • water heater


Step 1:
Before the stinging nettles can be processed into a pesto, they must be blanched. Heat a pot with plenty of water and have a bowl of iced water.

2nd step:
Pour the cleaned nettle leaves out of the kettle with boiling water and blanch the leaves for about 20 seconds.

3rd step:
Then the leaves are briefly added to the ice water bath for quenching.
Dry the leaves well. The spines should now be destroyed.

Tip: With a little salt on the ice cubes the ice water bath gets colder.

4th step:
Heat a pan into which you then add the pine nuts without oil and roast briefly. As soon as the pine nuts get a light brown tone, immediately remove the pan from the cooker.

Tip: It is important to remember that pine nuts can burn very easily. That's why you should never leave the seeds in the pan unattended and keep them moving.

5th step:
Now put the nettle leaves and the pine nuts in your food processor or chop both with a small chopper. You can also work with a mortar.

6th step:
Now add oil, pepper, salt and mix to a homogenous paste. You can still add the grated cheese, garlic and lemon to your taste.

7th step:
Finally, pour your pesto into a sealable, airtight glass.

The nettle pesto will stay in your fridge for about 2-3 weeks. It is always advisable to make only small portions of pesto fresh and to consume in a timely manner or to boil the pesto in case of overproduction.

Tip: At the end add some oil to the surface, so you can preserve and preserve the nettle pesto. The oil serves as a protective film against germs.

A nettle pesto is versatile - so it is perfect as a topping for a potato gratin. But you can also offer it very well with fish, meat or vegetable dishes. The green pesto is definitely a highlight at any BBQ party or BBQ. But it can also serve great with pasta or bread.

If you have picked too many stinging nettles, or if you would like to use them differently, then we recommend you to use the stinging nettle - the organic DIY fertilizer: nettle sud.

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