Nettle-Sorrel Pesto

Nettle-Sorrel Pesto

Nettle-Sorrel Pesto


Use the pesto in soup here, or spread it on sandwiches, or combine it with pasta and a handful of toasted breadcrumbs. For a quick dip, blend 1/4 cup of it with 4 ounces softened goat cheese (or to taste), bake for 10 minutes at 35O°F in a small ovenproof dish, and serve with crusty bread.


1/2 pound fresh nettles

2 large garlic cloves, smashed

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Juice of 1/2 small lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

1/2 cup chopped fresh sorrel

1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


To toast pine nuts, place them on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 35O°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until brown and fragrant.


Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer. Add the nettles directly from their bag and cook, stirring continuously, for 2 minutes. Dump into a colander to drain. When the nettles are cool enough to handle, wrap them in a clean dish towel and wring out as much moisture as possible. You’ll have about 1 cup of cooked, squished nettles. Whirl the garlic, pine nuts, salt, and pepper in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the nettles, breaking them up as you drop them in, and the lemon juice and sorrel, and whirl until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream, and process until smooth. Add the Parmesan, pulse briefly, and season to taste with additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice. Store any leftover pesto in a small airtight container in the refrigerator.

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