If you have ever touched stinging nettle, you likely have a vivid memory of the event. It hurts! When I was about 12, I was riding a friends pony and he walked me through a dense patch of stinging nettle. I thought I’d been stung by a swarm of bees, and my bare legs felt as if they were simultaneously enveloped in flames. Poor old Copper, he didn’t know why I was screaming, he just kept plodding along. Don’t you think stinging nettle would be an excellent boundary plant to keep zombies out?
I recently discovered from a local mushroom expert, that stinging nettles are delicious! They can be sauteed in salt and butter and eaten, still slightly crunchy, like asparagus. The leaves can be dried and made into a tea that is said to help allergy sufferers, alleviate arthritis and regulate high blood pressure. According to NaturalNews.com, “it promotes milk production in nursing mothers. Stinging nettles reduces PMS symptoms, processes estrogen to relieve menopausal symptoms and curbs excess menstrual flow. It’s often used in herbal tonics to remove fibroids and regulate the menstrual flow.” Oh. And it tastes good too.
After the morning dew dried, I cut the top 6″ off our patch of nettles- about 3 cups wilted.
That evening, I blanched it for about 90 seconds in boiling water and then strained it.
I popped it in my mini Cuisinart with some Parmesan cheese, a heavy handful of slivered almonds, 1 T. of garlic and 2 t. of sea salt. I drizzled olive oil in while it blended. I’m not big on recipes…. pine nuts are traditional, but I had almonds on hand. Walnuts are good too. Basil is the traditional “green” part of this recipe but we usually use cilantro because it’s got a little more zip to it than basil and it’s super healthy- very good at detoxifying heavy metals. I’m not sure if I really liked the flavor of nettles better than cilantro, or if it was just the sweet, sweet taste of revenge that I was enjoying so much.
Top the pesto with a little pasta….er, top the pasta with a little pesto…I guess it’s all a matter of perspective which should be of higher volume. Do you have a favorite “weed” that you use? Do you use it medicinally? What is your favorite pesto recipe?