This nettle pesto is oil-free and filled with fiber. It is made with blanched nettles and cashew nuts. For this pesto, you can also use frozen nettles.
I love this pesto as a bread spread. It also makes a good pasta sauce. Nettles have a good amount of calcium, magnesium, and folate. In terms of vitamins, it is high in C-vitamin, E-vitamin, B-vitamins, and A-vitamin.
This pesto does not taste that much for the nettles since it has roasted cashews, perfect for those unsure of nettle taste. If you want it to taste more, you can use plain cashews without roasting them.
Spring is the best time to harvest stinging nettles before they bloom. If they are tiny, you can pick the whole green part. As they grow bigger, use only the leaves and tops since the stem is too fibrous. Pick nettles where the environment is clean and not too nutritious since they draw nitrates from the soil. Avoid places where dogs pee and close to car roads.
Use leather or other heavy gloves when picking so they won't sting you. Long-sleeved clothes are also a good choice.
- Cashew nuts
- Blanched nettles
- Nutritional yeast
- Black pepper
- Garlic (optional)-powder is more subtle.
You can replace cashews with macadamia nuts, hemp seeds, or pine nuts. You can add vegan parmesan cheese to the pesto if you want a more authentic tasting one. Black pepper can be replaced with white pepper and salt with a teaspoon of white miso paste.
This pesto does not have any oil; by skipping the oil, I could save a total of 800 calories in the whole amount.
To make pesto, you need a hand mixer, a blender, or a mini-chopper. I used my spice grinder that comes with the Bamix hand mixer.
It is good to cut the nettle stems a bit shorter if you use a hand mixer since they might spin around the blade, making it impossible to use.
- Rinse your nettles or let them soak a while in water.
- Then you need to blanch them. Put the nettles in boiling water for one minute, lift them in a sieve, and squeeze the excess water.
- Roast your cashews for 2-3 minutes in an air fryer at 350F. You can also roast them in the oven or on a pan. Watch out, so they don't burn; a slight light brown color is enough to give extra flavor.
- Soak the cashews in water for at least 15 minutes to get a smoother consistency for the pesto.
- Put the drained cashews and other ingredients in your blender and make a smooth pesto. You might need to scrape down the sides a couple of times.
What to serve with
- As bread spread
- Sauce for pasta (add some more water)
- For pestopastasalad
- With tofu sticks
- As filling for oven-baked potatoes or sweet potatoes
- As condiment with baked veggies
The nettle pesto stores in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge. I have not tried freezing it.Print