Quick Bites from Pender

Nettle Pesto Pizza

In Recipes on February 23, 2010 at 5:02 am

nettle-pesto-pizzaDid I mention that February is Nettle Month here on IV?  I’m happier than a pig in sh** — for real.  What?  You should see all of the deer pellets near my nettle patch…Just so you know,  I’m not delusional about the taste value of nettles.  They’re good — I LOVE them — but they can be bitter — which has led to a nettle backlash.  People are bitter about the bitterness of nettles.

I’ve seen numerous ranting blog posts (again) bitter at spending $15 on a bag of Farmer’s Market nettles only to be disappointed with the final dish.  Go easy when doling out the nettles in your menu, people.

stinging-nettle-pesto

I added a package of grocery store basil to my nettle pesto to make it light and fresh tasting — a precursor of the Spring season to come.

Not fully local and seasonal, but trust me — straight nettle pesto is not palatable unless you’re SurvivorMan and you’re 4 days in with nothing to eat.

Stinging Nettle Pesto

Yield:  approx Cup

Stinging Nettles, young tips only, trimmed of stems 2 C, lightly packed 50 ml
Basil Leaves ½ C, lightly packed 125 ml
Garlic, thinly sliced 1 clove
Pine Nuts 2 T 30 ml
Olive Oil ¼ C 125 ml
Parmigiano Reggiano ¼ C 125 ml
S+P TT

C=cup       ml=millilitres     T=tablespoon       TT=to taste

Place the nettles, basil, garlic and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor.  With the motor running, pour the olive oil through the food chute in a slow steady stream.  Stop the processor and scrape the mixture into a bowl.  Fold in the cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.

boursin-pizza

As for the pizza, I have yet to decide on my ultimate crust recipe.  Everything I try sort of falls flat.  I suspect the majority of the problem lies with our oven.  I gotta get me a couple of fire bricks next time I’m in town.  (Ask Howard how many times I’ve said that without following through. — It’s getting tired — and to the point where I may very well find myself with a couple of firebricks in the back of the car on my next trip back from town.)

nettle-bacon-pizza

This crust is from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice.  I’m going to have to owe you the recipe for that, and for the tomato sauce I used, which was a quick simmer sauce taught to us at culinary school.

I added some Pepper Boursin, Red Barn Bacon ends (we’re obsessed), s.d tomatoes, mozza and large, beautiful dollops of my foraged stinging nettle pesto.

nettle-pesto-pizza

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  1. I guess I’ve never had nettle! I did some google search and saw what they look like. They look kind of similar to Japanese basil, called “shiso” but I bet they taste very different. Your pizza looks delicious!

  2. What does s.d tomatoes mean?

    • Trysh,
      Thank you for reminding me to exclude my exclusionary language! Apparently some of it still slips through the cracks — s.d. stands for sun-dried.

  3. I’ve made wonderful stinging nettle pesto without the help of basil. Just add pine nuts, parmesan cheese and olive oil. Delicious!

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