Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nettle Pesto!

Spring can be a stinging affair this far north, with temps still in the forties most days (look, the trees aren't even leafed out yet)...a little wind, a little rain, and yes, a little sun as well. Enough so that my nettle patch, on the western side of my lawn at home, is thriving quite nicely, thank you. It's the perfect time to cut back this itchy nuisance as the ball playing is in full force around here and looking for lost baseballs in a patch of nettles is, well, no fun! It's great that we get to take care of this pesky problem in such a tasty satisfying way. My friends Jenny and Sydney showed me this the past, we've gotten to make many different batches...but this year has been a little challenging to get us all together.
Since I am home today, I think I'll get things started.

I cut about 16 cups of nettles...enough for two batches

Drop 8 cups of the nettles into a large pot of boiling salted water and blanch for two minutes

Squeeze out excess liquid and give them a rough'll have about three cups

Into your food processor with approximately ( I say this because you can certainly
add more, less or delete altogether any of the proposed ingredients to your liking!)
1 cup grated Parmesean
1 cup walnuts (I prefer the flavor over pine nuts)
5 garlic cloves-peeled (obviously)
a splash of lemon juice
dash kosher salt
a few turns of the pepper mill
1/2 cup olive oil-the nicest you can afford - drizzle in as processor is running...again you can add more or less depending on how thick you want it.

I like to spoon it into glass jars and pour a little olive oil on top...refrigerate for up to four weeks or freeze in 8 0z wide mouth jam jars to save for the middle of winter when your dying for a little taste of spring.
Be sure to label and date the top so that when your rooting around in the freezer come February you'll know what tha funny green stuff is.
This first batch is packaged up and ready to pass out to my friends.


More Cowbell said...

I know this is very late, but I wondered if this turns black the way basil pest does when frozen. How do you keep it from getting ugly?
Just found your blog is why I'm hitting such an old post. :)

Carri said... your moniker! I freeze it in 8 ounce jars...does not get black, just a little less vibrant green!

More Cowbell said...

Hmmm. I'll have to try that, as soon as I have nettles again. I was plagued with them in my last house but not here. Too bad I didn't know about this five years ago. :)
The moniker, well, it kind of surprised me when it came up. Heh. One of those things I signed up for in the middle of the night when sanity was at low ebb. :)