Last night, we all became a family of weed eaters, even CJ. Before you get all, "I'm calling Child Protective Services on these terrible parents" we are talking about stinging nettles. They are the things that you brush against while walking through tall grass and weeds -- wearing shorts. "Ow, what the hell was that?" you might ask. You re-trace your steps and you find this plant below and recognize it as the Stinging Nettle -- the Taser of the garden.
Pesto d'Urtica or Nettle Pesto and decided to try it for ourselves.
After blanching the nettles while wearing rubber kitchen gloves, Peta shocked them in ice water to stop the cooking process. We then followed the "usual" recipe for regular basil pesto and added appropriate amounts of olive oil, garlic, black pepper and parmesan cheese into the Cuisinart but we used walnuts rather than pine nuts (since we didn't know if it would be any good, we didn't want to use the more expensive nuts).
What?? Cuisinart and not the traditional mortar and pestle? Sacrilege! Yes, we know that the end product isn't the same, but we're busy people these days! As we tasted the pesto along the way, Peta realized that the pesto would benefit from a bit of brightness so we added a bit of lemon juice. That did it.
We added this pesto to angel hair pasta and a few sautéed shrimp and had a great laugh watching our 14 month old slurp up the capelli d'angelo. The pasta was too thick for this sauce but that's all we have on hand, so we added so more oil olive for increased "slurpability".
Jim and Peta