Nettle and Ramp Pesto
2 c. tightly packed nettles, rough-chopped if large leaves
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2-4 rough-chopped ramp bulbs and their leaves (depending on how garlicy you like it)
3 Tbsp. grated parmesan
2 Tbsp. pine nuts, almonds, or walnuts (optional)
Cook nettles- place in a steam basket, and dunk into a boiling pot of water for about 5-10+ minutes (until very soft); remove and run under very cold water. Drain thoroughly, and gently squeeze in a towel, to remove as much excess moisture as you can.
Sauté ramp bulbs and leaves for 1-2 minutes in olive oil. You can skip this sauté step if you wish; I think it mellows and enriches the flavor.
Combine nettles, ramps, parmesan, and nuts (if using), in a food processor. Add olive oil slowly, about 1 Tbsp. at a time, while the processor is running, until the pesto is at your desired consistency; it should be a “rough” paste, don’t allow to become smooth and creamy. Season with salt to your taste.
If you’ll use the pesto for a spread, you’ll want the pesto to be fairly thick; for pasta sauce or drizzle for fish or poultry, it should be thinner.
Easy Peasy Pesto Freezies
Some night in the future, you'll be so glad you've got these at the ready for a super quick meal! Toss with pasta and a few tomatoes and/or other veggies- boom! dinner is served!
Line the bottom of a small baking sheet, or tin with parchment paper. Spread the pesto evenly on it, shaping into a rectangle about a ¼” thick. Top with another piece of parchment paper, pressing gently to make it stick to the top surface. Put into the freezer for 3-4 hours.
Once frozen, slide the pesto block into a ziplock freezer bag, and put back in the freezer. When ready to use, just break off a chunk in the size you need.
Recipe created or adapted by Liz Talley, Urban Graze
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