Makes 1 generous cup.
- 1/2 pound nettles
- 4 large garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer for the nettles. Add the nettles directly from their bag and cook, stirring continuously, for 2 minutes. (This takes away their sting). Dump into a colander to drain. When the nettles are cool enough to handle, wrap them in a clean dishtowel and wring out as much moisture as possible, like you would for spinach. You’ll have about a cup of cooked, squished nettles.
In a food processor or blender, combine the garlic, pine nuts, salt, and pepper to taste until finely chopped. Add the nettles, breaking them up as you drop them in, and the lemon juice and blend until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream, and process until smooth. Add the cheese, pulse briefly, and season to taste with additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice.
Recipe adapted from Jess Thompson.