Nettle Pesto

We’ve been going nettle crazy on the allotment this year. Rob made this delicious nettle pesto based on a River Cottage recipe. When harvesting nettles make sure you wear a good pair of gloves and only take the tips of the plant. They’re the most tender and tastiest part.


  • a good few handful of nettle tips
  • a chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1 clove of garlic (or 2 if you like it strong)
  • a handful of sliced almonds
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt


Tip the nettles into a steamer and steam for 30 seconds – 1 minute; just until the nettles take on a deep green colour.

Whilst they’re steaming cut up the Parmigiano Reggiano into smaller chunks and add it to a food processor along with the bread. If you wish you can toast the bread beforehand.

Next chop up the garlic and add to a mortar with a pinch of salt, and give it a good pounding. The salt helps to break up the garlic.

Add this paste, the nettles, almonds and a good glug of extra virgin olive oil to the food processor, and give it a good whizz until everything is well chopped and mixed. Keep adding oil until the mixture forms a paste.

Hey presto, nettle pesto!