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Nettle Pesto by Liz Neves

Try Liz Neves’s Nettle Pesto recipe:

Every spring I make a Nettle pesto and each year it’s a bit different. It’s highly adaptable!
You’ll have to know I’m a guess-timator and fan of winging things.

*Take care when handling raw Nettle leaves, unless you like the sting (which some do!). Tongs are helpful!


  • 2 cups packed Stinging Nettle leaves*
  • 1/2 cup Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Basil leaves
  • 2 to 3 cloves of Garlic, roasted OR raw
  • 1/3 cup toasted Pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil (more or less depending on preference)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast OR grated Parmagiano reggiano cheese
  • Lemon juice from a medium sized Lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to your taste


  1. Blanch the Nettle leaves for a minute or two in boiling water.
  2. Strain and shock in ice water.
  3. Spin them through a salad spinner or squeeze out some of the liquid by hand (cooking takes out the sting).
  4. In a food processor (or mortar and pestle if you’e got the time and muscle) blend together all of the ingredients.
  5. Drizzle in the olive oil to your desired consistency.
    Enjoy on pasta, bread, crackers, sliced cucumbers, or by the spoonful!

Liz Neves is an herbalist, permaculturist, and energy healing practitioner living in Brooklyn, New York. Liz is the founder of Gathering Ground, a platform for herbal education, earth-based spirituality, and energy healing. She leads seasonal healing plant walks to introduce city-dwellers to the myriad of medicinal flora in the urban environment. Liz is the author of Northeast Medicinal Plants: Identify, Harvest, and Use 111 Wild Herbs for Health and Wellness (TimberPress). In 2008, Liz established Raganella Botanical Solutions, an all-natural, ethical body care company blending botanical and herbal remedies for health and wellness.