Nettle Pesto

PrepTime: 25 minutes

Makes: 1 generous cup


1/2 pound nettles

4 large garlic cloves, smashed

1/2 cup toasted  nuts (your choice)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer. Add the nettles directly from their bag and cook, stirring continuously, for 2 minutes (this denatures their sting). Dump into a colander to drain.  Or, you can use the nettles raw (the pulverizing in the processor will also denature their sting).

When the nettles are cool enough to handle, wrap them in a clean dishtowel and wring out as much moisture as possible.

In a food processor, whirl the garlic, nuts, salt, and pepper to taste until finely chopped.

Add nettles and lemon juice and whirl until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the oil and process until smooth. Add the cheese, pulse briefly, and season to taste with additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice.

Submitted by Kai, Adapted from


~Go Nettles! More Nettles!~

A great way to incorporate greens into your diet is to just add them to the liquid part of a recipe. In this case…blend nettles with usual crepe ingredients…or scrambled eggs….or take some of the broth out of your soup and blend with raw nettles and then add back in. Adding greens raises the alkalinity which is needed when meat, dairy and grains are consumed in most meals. 

Ever had green citrus drink?  Blend celery. parsley, nettles, kale and ginger in the blender, along with one quart of water. Press through a straining bag….add the juice of fresh pressed lemon, grapefruit and orange and the soaking liquid of raisins, mango and prunes to sweeten. More sweetening can be added with stevia…coconut nectar…raw honey etc…


Nettles, Nettles, Nettles!!!

~Nettle Pesto~ is just substituting basil with nettles.
Some people like to blanch the nettles before using…but I just pop them in the Vita Mix raw. I use flax, coconut and olive oil….garlic…walnuts, hemp seeds, kelp, cilantro, parsley. This freezes well for use later!
~Green Smoothie~
Blend all your favorites together [don’t forget reconstituted dried mangoes, prunes, dates, persimmons etc…].
Add nettles and miner’s lettuce [often found growing together!]…collards…kale...spinach. Blend a little longer than usual to be sure to break down the cell walls in the nettles! 
~Dried Nettles~
If you want the nutrition of nettles all year long….dry them! Either in trays out of direct light…or hanging in paper bags. When stems are thoroughly dry… store in airtight jars or bags. Powder in small amounts to be sprinkled or added to food. 
~Green Tortillas~
Here’s a great way to introduce nettles. When making your favorite flat bread recipe….blend the nettles with the water before adding to flour mix. That Nettle Pesto is delicious spread on top!
Bon Appetit!
Original Recipes created and submitted by Bequin

Savory Nettle Chips


– 20-40 freshly harvested nettle leaves
– 2.5 tsp organic extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tbsp organic rice wine vinegar
– 1-2 tbsp organic shoyu, soy sauce, tamari, or Braggs
– 1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
– 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast
– Fresh ground organic black pepper to taste


Wearing gloves, harvest your nettles, rinse with cool water, and dry. Separate the leaves by breaking the petiole (leaf stem) from the main stem. Mix all of the glaze ingredients together in a bowl. Add the nettle leaves and gently toss until each leaf is well coated. You should be able to remove your gloves at this point. On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, unravel each delicate leaf. Place pan in a warm oven at 200 degrees and allow the leaves to slowly dehydrate. After 15 to 20 minutes, peel each leaf off of the parchment paper and flip over so the other side can crisp in the oven. Check your nettles every 5 to 10 minutes until they lose sogginess and become nice and crunchy. Be careful not to let them char and turn dark brown or black. Total cooking time can vary between 30 and 45 minutes. Once you reach the desired crispiness, remove and allow to cool. Store in an airtight glass container for up to a week or possibly longer…if they aren’t devoured by then!

From The Mountain Rose Blog:, Erin (129)

Submitted by Mary Ellen Courtney