Sauces

Celery leaf pesto

16 September 2020 | Last Updated: 11 May 2021 By Aleksandra

If you’ve ever bought a beautiful bunch of celery with all those leaves and you didn’t know what to do with them – the answer is – celery leaf pesto! It’s the quickest and simplest thing to make with celery leaves. It tastes very good, although its taste is a little bit milder than that of the traditional pesto. You can use it just as you would use basil pesto.

Celery leaf pesto being scooped out with a teaspoon from a small white ramekin.

What to do with celery leaves – make pesto! What you’ll need:

  • greens – here we’re using celery leaves instead of basil leaves
  • cheese – best is Parmesan cheese, alternatively you can use Grana Padano cheese, or a mix of Parmesan cheese and Pecorino cheese
  • nuts – I used almonds but walnuts would also work very well here
  • olive oil – extra virgin olive oil (like you would use for a salad), add more if you want a thinner pesto consistency
  • lemon zest – this is optional but it adds a nice citrusy flavor to the pesto
  • salt and pepper
Ingredients needed to prepare celery leaf pesto.

How to make it step by step:

The simplest way to make any pesto is to throw all the ingredients into a food processor or a blender and mix until smooth. High-speed blenders may cause the olive oil to taste a little bitter so I like to take a two-step approach when making my pesto. I blend all the ingredients together at high speed without the olive oil, then mix in the olive oil at very low speed. It’s also possible that you won’t taste the difference between these two methods, so choose what works best for you!

A collage of 3 photos showing preparation steps of celery leaf pesto.

STEP 1: Add all the ingredients, except the olive oil, to a food processor bowl.

STEP 2: Pulse until a thick paste forms (scrape the ingredients from the sides of the bowl from time to time).
Add the olive oil and pulse the sauce at the lowest speed until well combined or whisk in the olive oil by hand.

STEP 3: Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can also add more olive oil if you want a thinner consistency of your pesto.

Enjoy!

My other pesto recipes / how to use up pesto:

How to use up celery stalks:

Storage and freezing:

The celery leaf pesto will keep up in the fridge for up to 3 days (stored in a tightly closed container or tightly covered with plastic foil). If you want to keep it longer, pour a small layer of olive oil on top of the pesto. This way you can keep it in the fridge for up to a week.

Pesto freezes very well. Freeze it up to 6 months.

Celery leaf pesto

If you've ever bought a beautiful bunch of celery with all those leaves and you didn't know what to do with them – the answer is – celery leaf pesto! It's the quickest and simplest thing to make with celery leaves.
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Celery leaf pesto being scooped with a teaspoon from a white ramekin.
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 cups
Calories 1688kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 4 cups loosely packed celery leaves 120g
  • zest grated from 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds or walnuts, 40g
  • 1.5 cups grated Parmesan cheese 135g
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 120g
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Wash the celery leaves in cold water and lightly pat them dry.
  • Add all the ingredients, except the olive oil, to a food processor bowl. Pulse until a thick paste forms (scrape the ingredients from the sides of the bowl from time to time).
  • Add the olive oil and pulse the sauce at the lowest speed until well combined or whisk in the olive oil by hand.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can also add more olive oil if you want a thinner consistency of your pesto.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Storage and freezing: The celery leaf pesto will keep up in the fridge for up to 3 days (stored in a tightly closed container or tightly covered with plastic foil). If you want to keep it longer, pour a small layer of olive oil on top of the pesto. This way you can keep it in the fridge for up to a week. Pesto freezes very well. Freeze it up to 6 months.
  • Calories = whole recipe. This is only an estimate!
Course sauce
Cuisine Italian-inspired
Keyword celery leaf pesto, what to do with celery leaves

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Max
    27 August 2021 at 00:59

    5 stars
    We get leafy heirloom celery in our community-sponsored agriculture box a few times each summer lately. This year I started using your recipe for the leaves, and it has been great. I love the mild bitterness of the celery plus walnuts, and almonds make it softer if that’s what you prefer. Tonight I used about 80% celery and 20% basil, which was also nice. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Aleksandra
      27 August 2021 at 06:46

      I’m sure it was also delicious with basil, this recipe is very flexible! Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Reply
    Susan
    17 April 2021 at 09:43

    5 stars
    I just made this for dinner and we loved it over agnolotti. Traditional pesto can sometimes be a bit sharp but we found this to be very light in flavour. It will be a regular for our household now as we always have celery in the house. Thank you fir sharing.

    • Reply
      Aleksandra
      17 April 2021 at 12:40

      thank you for letting me know!

  • Reply
    Lorena
    28 February 2021 at 21:34

    This was delicious, thank you so much for the recipe!

    • Reply
      Aleksandra
      1 March 2021 at 06:41

      you’re welcome! thank you for commenting!

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