Nettle Walnut Pesto Sauce Recipe

Nettle Walnut Pesto Sauce

Makes 2 cups

A new spring twist on the Italian classic. Try it on our Ramp and Nettle Pizza.


  • 2 cups blanched nettle leaves, about 12 ounces fresh nettles with stems (See Cook's Tip for blanching instructions.)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread walnuts on baking sheet. Toast 5 to 10 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Cool. Finely chop.
  3. Finely chop blanched nettles and place in a medium bowl. Add garlic, marjoram or thyme, parmesan, and olive oil. Stir well to blend. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and another spoonful of olive oil, if needed.
  4. Cook's Tip:
  5. To blanch nettles, bring a large pot of water to boil. With tongs or gloved hands, add nettles. Stir and simmer 2 minutes. While nettles cook, prepare a bowl of ice water. Drain nettles and plunge into ice water to cool. Drain again. Remove leaves from stems and squeeze out liquid. Pat dry on clean towel. Save cooking liquid for tea, if you like.


Amount Per Serving (based on 8 servings)
Calories: 160
Fat: 17 g
Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 45 mg
Carbohydrates: 2 g
Fiber: 2 g
Added Sugars: 0 g
Total Sugar: 0 g
Protein: 2 g
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