Nettle, lemon & cashew pesto

Nettle, lemon & cashew pesto

Blitzed together in less than five minutes, this cheatís pesto uses cashews instead of pine nuts as a cheaper, easier-to-get-hold-of substitute. I promise no one will know the difference.

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Serves: 4

150g young nettle tops

1 tbsp water

50g grated Parmesan

2 cloves garlic

50g cashew nuts

1 grated rind of lemon

150ml extra virgin olive oil

a generous grating of nutmeg

  1. Wilt the nettle tops in a saucepan with 1 tbsp water.
  2. Blitz the wilted nettle tops in a food processor with the grated Parmesan, garlic cloves, cashew nuts, lemon rind, extra virgin olive oil and nutmeg.
  3. Taste your emerald blend and add any extra oil, salt or pepper you think it needs.
  4. Slather the pesto over slices of crusty white bread, top with cooked chicken pieces, add Parmesan shavings and drizzle with olive oil for the ultimate spring treat.

Over the last few years ethnobotanist James Wongís scientific and labour-saving approach to edible gardening has garnered critical acclaim, landing him his own BBC series Grow Your Own Drugs and publishing contracts for several books. Here we showcase Jamesí flair for combining the unusual with three of our favourite recipes with a difference from the book...

RHS Grow For Flavour by James Wong is published by Mitchell Beazley and is available, for £20, from

Photographs: Jason Ingram
Recipes Type: Salads

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