ADAPT June Recipe

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Nettle and Spinach Pesto

Here I've adapted the River Cottage recipe using half nettle tops, half spinach and extra garlic.

  • 50g spinach
  • 20g strong Cheddar, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 150-200ml rapeseed oil
  • water
  • Salt and black pepper

Wearing gloves, pick over the nettles, discarding all but the thinnest stalks, then wash well. Wash the spinach. Find a pan large enough to take the nettles and half-fill it with water.

Bring to the boil and cram in the nettles and spinach, pushing them down with a wooden spoon to immerse them. Cook for just 1 minute, then drain through a sieve over a bowl to save the cooking water. Immediately plunge the nettles into cold water. As soon as they are cold, remove and squeeze them as dry as you can -- they will not sting you once they are cooked.

Put the nettles into a food processor along with the breadcrumbs, cheese and garlic. With the machine on low speed, trickle in enough rapeseed oil to make a loose paste. I added some water to make a looser consistency.

Season your pesto with salt and pepper to taste. It is now ready to use. As for the nettle cooking water you saved, drink it -- it's too good to waste.

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