Urtica dioica

Known as common nettle, stinging nettle or stinger.
Family: Urticaceae.
Genus: Urtica.
Species: U. dioica.

Of all the wild herbs, nettle has to be my favorite of them all. It is something very familiar to me, that I’ve eaten since childhood. In our garden we left on purpose a little corner of it grow wild, so that we could forage nettle from there. Granny then would use them in her cooking, mainly in minestrones. I loved the hearty flavor of those minestrones, they were so delicious that I could enjoy them even in warm summer evenings.

Nordic Foraging: Nettle + A Nettle pesto Recipe| The Adagio Blog by Thais FK
Scarf: Bonden Living

Nettle is such a versatile herb. Think of how many recipes you could make with spinach. Now substitute nettle to them all. Soups, pies, salty pancakes, dips, salads.. The only step you have to remember to take is boil them first to neutralize the stinginess.

The best tasting are nettles the first ones that come out in spring time, when they are less than 20 cm high. These baby nettles almost don’t sting, but I’d advise to use gardening gloves anyway. The smaller the nettle, the less woody the stalk is.

My new favorite way to use nettle is a very easy and fast nettle pesto, which can be used on its own as a condiment for pastas or can be added to couscous or salty pie recipes for example.

Nordic Foraging: Nettle + A Nettle pesto Recipe| The Adagio Blog by Thais FK

Nettle pesto

A very simple wild take on pesto, full of flavor and with a beautiful lush green color.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Nordic
Keyword: nettle, pesto
Serves: 150 g
Author: Thais FK


  • 20 g nettle
  • 60 g walnuts
  • 25 g parmesan cheese
  • 45 ml (3 tbsolive oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Boil the nettle in abundant water for just a couple of minutes. It is important not to over boil the nettle, so that it won’t lose that bright green color and all its properties.
  • Sieve the nettle, rinse it with abundant cold water, drain off the excess of water.
  • Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until the desired texture (some like it smooth, some like it a little grainy).
  • Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. Alternatively you can freeze the nettle pesto and thaw it overnight in a refrigerator.
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Thais FK

Italian photographer, recipe developer and content creator, Thais came to Finland by chance, but stayed for love. Through photography she tells stories about traveling, eating, cooking and living sustainably, in order to discover new cultures and not to forget her origins. Thais FK's portfolio: thaisfk.com

July 2, 2019



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