We decided to Nettle that day in the forest. Well, it wasn’t a forest per say, but Discovery Park in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle. I had never been, so when my friend Kari signed up for a Slow Food Seattle outing, I promptly invited myself along.
I have great memories of nettles you see. As a child, I would be stung repeatedly at the preschool I attended in Normandy Park. Mrs. Hardy’s house was a Montessori style school that was located in a fern gully of a property. It had a creek, which we would walk in on Fridays, what seemed like acres of lawn to roam on, and….nettles at every turn! I vividly remember preparing a paste to soothe these itchy patches on my toddler skin. It was a literal, paste. The kind that kids eat. What I made today is much better than a paste.
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 cup blanched nettles
- Olive oil
- Take your tongs and get ready to blanch!
- Prepare a pot of water boiling and add a palmful of salt.
- Pluck the nettles with said tongs and put them into the boiling water.
- Stir around and boil for 1 minute
- Drain in a colander. You may also plunge in ice water to stop the nettles from cooking any longer.
- Press out as much moisture as you can and then squeeze the rest out with hands.
- Finish the job by placing the mass in a kitchen towel to wring out any excess moisture.
- Pulse everything in the food processor.
- Mix pesto with fresh pasta and enjoy with all your new woodland creature friends