We’re foraging nettles to make a ‘super food’ pesto for our feature in www.irishcountrymagazine.ie July/August issue. Nettles grow abundantly in Ireland, but are more often looked at as weeds than the nutrient dense plants they really are. With high levels of Vitamins A and C, iron, and protein, they make a very tasty and free ingredient for your summer pizza.
Ingredients - Pesto
50g of young wild nettle leaves
50g of fresh basil leaves
50g parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove
50g pine nuts, toasted
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1 - Bring a pot of water to the boil, then drop in the nettles and cook for 2 minutes.
2 - Drain and run the nettles under cold water. Squeeze out as much water as possible and chop. (if you don’t want to use nettles, you can use 100g of fresh basil)
3 - Put the nettles, fresh basil and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a rough paste.
4 - Transfer to a clean jar or bowl.
Pizza da Piero pizza bases
80g nettle and basil pesto
150g of blue cheese, crumbled
2 red onions
400g fresh tomatoes
1 - Pre heat your oven to the highest temperature
2 - Peel and slice the onions into rounds
3 - Preheat a grill pan. Toss your sliced onion in olive oil and grill on both sides until onion is tender and caramelised .
4 - Dice the fresh tomato, toss in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
5 - Spread the pizza sauce on to the pizza base and scatter the blue cheese on top.
6 - Bake in the oven for 3 - 5 minutes
7 - Remove the pizza from the oven and using a spoon, dot on the pesto.
8 - Scatter the grilled red onion, top with the fresh tomato and serve.