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Raw Vegan Nettle Superfood Pesto Recipe

Despite their unpleasant sting, the humble wild nettles are actually tasty and very nutritious: they are high in Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Zinc, Chromium, B vitamins and trace minerals including Selenium and Manganese ! Plus, they are free and widely available, so the little care required in handling them is totally worth it. In fact, the occasional nettle sting, unpleasant as it can be, is actually a good tonic for the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems. Nettles are used intentionally for this purpose in a treatment called uritication. Popular ways to eat nettles include nettle soup, nettle tea and steamed nettles ; in fact you could swap the spinach in any recipe with wild foraged nettles. But long cooking times destroy some of nettles beneficial phytonutrients, so eating raw nettles like in this raw vegan nettle pesto is a bonus. Just handle the leaves carefully while washing and drying them. Thoroughly chopping the nettles in the food processor stops them from stinging. This pesto is delicious served on cucumber or tomato slices for canapés, on toast topped with roasted vegetables, or stirred through grain pasta or courgetti (spaghetti substitute made by processing raw courgettes using a spiraliser or a julienne peeler). These quantities make up quite a big batch, please feel free to halve the recipe if needed. PS: The quality and freshness of your nettles really shine through in this recipe. Use the freshest, greenest, youngest nettle leaves you can find.

Customer Rating:
5.0 (2 votes)

Posted by: michael




< 15 mins

Skill Level




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Lunch Box
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You will need

2 large handfuls or about 50g wild nettle leaves, freshly picked
2 large handfuls or about 50g fresh coriander More products
4 large handfuls or about 100g fresh basil

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1/4 cup or about 30g pine nuts More products
1/4 cup or about 40g shelled hemp seeds OR

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1/4 cup or about 35g whole sesame seeds More products
1 Tbsp chlorella, optional More products
1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp sea salt More products
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

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Thin cucumber slices, to serve More products

Need help converting measurements? View our recipe measurement conversion tables here.


  • Prep your nettles and herbs by washing and delicately dry them using a clean tea towel. Put them in your food processor and process until well broken down, scraping the herbs off the sides of the food processor bowl as needed.
  • Add all the other ingredients (except the olive oil and cucumber), and process again. Finally, add the olive oil and process very briefly, until just incorporated.
  • Serve dollops of pesto on cucumber or tomato slices.

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