I found a frozen packet of nettles from last year’s harvest in the freezer the other day. With all the fresh nettles we’ve been eating lately this seemed like an opportune time to see how a year-old hunk of frozen nettles tasted in comparison. I’m happy to report my dinner companions up the street didn’t blink. Not for a second did they wonder whether my potluck contribution of Cream of Stinging Nettle Soup wasn’t made from nettles picked that day (and I didn’t tell—shhhh). The day-glo green color and signature flavor would have fooled me too.
Score another point for free, nutritious food.
Speaking of frozen nettles, I wouldn’t have been able to make a soup with fresh nettles anyway because all of my harvest has gone into pesto production. There’s a reason for this. She’s four going on fourteen, cute as a button when she’s not terrorizing her parents or building elaborate homes for ponies and princesses out of the furniture, and she loves her daddy’s nettle pesto.
I’ve already posted a recipe for Stinging Nettle Pesto, but here’s more info/photos about putting up your pesto. Use a Ziploc with a corner cut off to fill each cavity of the tray, then put in the freezer for several hours. Once frozen the pesto cubes can be easily removed from the tray and stored in freezer bags, ready for use throughout the year.
Whenever Ruby wants her pesto fix, I simply grab a pesto pop from the freezer, heat it up in the microwave, and toss with a bowl of cooked pasta. A single cube is enough to coat a few servings of pasta.
If you want to make a large batch of nettle pesto just remember to harvest enough nettles. A grocery bag packed with freshly harvested stinging nettles yields about two ice trays of pesto plus a small tub.
Few meals are healthier or easier to make.