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Fermented Nettle Paste

Simple fermented nettles

5 from 1 reviews

Fermented nettle paste is a great way to preserve nettles. This intense flavor-packed paste is perfect for adding a boost of nutrients to pizza, pasta, and soups. See the section above for information on how to avoid getting stung when harvesting nettles.

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 6 to 8 cups of nettle leaves (freshly picked and washed)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp water, as needed (chlorine-free)
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar, optional, see notes

Instructions

  1. Destem and wash the nettle leaves as described in the section above. Be sure to wear rubber gloves or you could get stung!
  2. Place the nettles, garlic, and salt into a food processor or blender. I find it easiest to slowly add more nettles. Use enough nettles to make 1 cup of puree.
  3. Pack the puree into a 1 cup jar. If you are using a fido jar or similar fermentation-specific container, then simply cap the paste. Otherwise, use a plastic zip-top bag filled with water to keep the paste from being exposed to air. 
  4. Place the jar in a dark location (like a kitchen cupboard) and allow it to ferment for at least 3 days and up to 21 days. The paste will become more acidic as it ferments, so deciding when to stop fermenting is really just a matter of taste. Personally, I enjoy it best after 3 to 5 days of fermenting.
  5. Store the paste in the fridge and use it within 6 months. 

Notes

  • Nettle is fibrous, high in protein, and packed with nutrients. This paste has a higher salt ratio than most ferments because it is the best way to ensure a good ferment. Use it to add flavor and nutrition to all sorts of dishes. See the section above for details.
  • Fermented pastes (like hot sauce) are prone to mold because they can’t be submerged below brine. The best way to prevent contamination is to make sure the jar and equipment are sanitized prior to use and to use a fido jar. If you’re concerned add 1 tsp of cider vinegar which will add a bit of acidity and kick-start the ferment. It also helps keep the nettles bright green (versus turning black with oxidation).
  • If nettle paste is packed into a fido jar or a jar with an airlock, it can be left to ferment for up to a year. The resulting paste will be dark and quite sour. But it will definitely offer a unique flavor profile!

Keywords: spring, pesto, iron-rich, probiotic, gluten-free, keto