With the first spring greens arriving on our kitchen counter, we typically make salads. Often with simple olive oil/apple cider vinegar dressings. It’s a great mix of greens, the same that we also pass on to our customers. However, there is also the time that we want some of those greens in a warm dish. We’ve made pesto with arugula and sorrel before. We also blended some mustard greens and spinach into a green alfredo sauce for pasta or potato gratin. This year, we tried stinging nettle pesto and with lot’s of rhubarb at hand, baked some wonderful muffins.
Stinging Nettle Pesto
I knew for some years now, that people do use stinging nettles for cooking. I remember a woman who I met collecting nettles. Following my curious questions what she is doing with them, she answered that she’d boil them with her potatoes to give them more flavour. For years, I have seen them grow on our farm but never did anything with them. Until this spring, when we somehow got the idea of making nettle pesto for our customers to try. And did they ever like it! Here’s how we prepared it.
4-5 cups of stinging nettles (leaves and young stems, no seeds) – blanch them for 3 minutes and dry them after cooling them off in ice water. The blanching took the stinging away, so no worries. You should be left with about 1.5 cups of blanched nettles.
Add olive oil, Parmesan, pumpkin seeds and garlic (we used a garlic stalk, that’s way before the scapes start to grow, we basically cut the garlic above the actual bulb, looks almost like a leek).
Chop it all in your blender and taste to liking, adding salt and pepper.
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup / 250 ml buttermilk, sour milk, or plain yogurt
¾ cup sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar
1 ½ cups rhubarb (diced)
Combine everything and bake at 375F / 190C in the oven
As we continue to talk more and more to our customers about the meals they’ve created with our produce, we’ll keep posting some of those recipes fo you to try as well.