While flipping though this month’s Edible Magazine I came across a recipe for a Nettle Pesto that looked incredible; so I decided to head into my kitchen and make it. There were a lot of “yum” ingredients in this recipe, but what drew me in most was the hazelnuts. A little something about me – I love anything made with hazelnuts. Before I go off on a complete hazelnut tangent, let’s get back to the pesto.
I live in Tsawwassen, and while I love living a block from the beach, there is a lack of variety ingredients-wise at my local grocery stores. Due to this lack lustre selection I was forced to sub out the nettles—that the recipe called for—and replace them with kale. Despite my substitute, the finished product was delicious. In fact, I’m almost betting it was better than the nettle version I originally set out to make.
I served my kale hazelnut pesto (which I have since decided was the best pesto I’ve ever had) on brown rice pasta. Enjoying it the next day with some leftover rice pasta, yams, roasted cauliflower and leftover chicken. However this pesto would also be great mixed with extra olive oil—to make it into a dressing—served alongside fresh cut veggies as a dip, or spread on a piece of whole grain bread. It’s very versatile.
Check out the recipe below and make it tonight! If you do have nettles at your local grocer, I’m envious, and encourage you to try using them in your pesto. I’d love to hear how it is.
Kale Hazelnut Pesto
Makes 1 cup
2 cups kale leaves
2 cups fresh basil
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
1 cup hazelnuts – I soaked mine for 8 hours (this removes the phytic acid and increases our ability to absorb the nutrients)
This one’s an easy one, simply blend all of the ingredients in a food processor until reasonably smooth, adding more oil as needed, then serve or refrigerate until ready to use.