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Put these weeds to good use in a sauce that's bursting with so many vitamins and minerals, it could be called a Spring Tonic. It's a perfect complement to mild fish like halibut, grilled chicken, and it gives your minestrone another interesting layer of flavor.


Recipe Summary test

10 mins
5 mins
15 mins
1 cup


Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place hazelnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat; cook and stir until toasted, 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Wearing gloves, add nettles to boiling water; cook until nettles are tender and still maintain the bright green color, about 2 minutes. Immediately transfer to a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Let nettles cool and drain.

  • Place the nettles in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze excess water from the greens.

  • Combine nettles, hazelnuts, Parmesan cheese, and salt in a food processor fitted with a puree blade. Pulse a few times before turning the processor on. Stream olive oil through the feeding tube while the processor is running until pesto is smooth.

Cook's Notes:

Nettles can be found at farmers' markets. In a pinch, you can substitute dandelion greens or spinach.

When storing extra pesto, place in a covered container and cover the surface with a layer of olive oil.

When making nettle pesto pasta, reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water and stir in a couple of tablespoons of the pesto mixture. It makes for a creamier pasta.

Nutrition Facts

120 calories; protein 3.1g; carbohydrates 2.8g; fat 11.1g; cholesterol 4.4mg; sodium 237.5mg. Full Nutrition