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.
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
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!
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.
My other pesto recipes / how to use up pesto:
Here you’ll find all my ideas and recipes with pesto.
- How to make pesto – homemade basil pesto recipe (Pesto alla Genovese)
- Wild garlic pesto (Ramp pesto)
- Basil walnut pesto
- Arugula pistachio pesto
- Chicken pesto pasta bake
- Pesto potato salad
- Sun-dried tomato pesto
- Parsley pesto pasta with zucchini and carrots
- Shrimp pesto pasta with zucchini
- Pistou Soup – French vegetable soup (Soupe au Pistou)
- generally, you can use this sauce the same way you would use basil pesto – it’s perfect as a pasta sauce, you can also scoop it on salads (thin it out and use as a salad dressing), pizza, sandwich, or panini.
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.
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!!
Celery Leaf Pesto
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- 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
- 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.
- 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!
Jennifer DeLugach11 July 2022 at 02:46
Thanks for the idea. I omitted the cheese because I didn’t have any and I used lemon juice instead of zest. I ate it with steamed yellow neck squash and enjoyed it very much. Thank you again!
Aleksandra11 July 2022 at 06:21
you’re welcome! thank you for leaving the comment!
Mahima4 July 2022 at 17:27
Used this recipe for my pasta. Tastes delicious. It was my first time working with celery and it was great
Annie11 April 2022 at 04:01
For a long time, I would only buy precut celery sticks as I always wound up throwing away the leaves anyway. Recently, I got some complete celery stalks and did a search as to what to do with the leaves. This pesto is great! It goes well with tomatoes and arugula and on a turkey sandwich. Thanks for the recipe.
Aleksandra11 April 2022 at 07:57
Great idea for the sandwich! I’m glad the recipe was useful for you. Thank you for leaving the comment.
Max27 August 2021 at 00:59
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!
Aleksandra27 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!
Susan17 April 2021 at 09:43
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.
Aleksandra17 April 2021 at 12:40
thank you for letting me know!
Lorena28 February 2021 at 21:34
This was delicious, thank you so much for the recipe!
Aleksandra1 March 2021 at 06:41
you’re welcome! thank you for commenting!
Carol15 August 2022 at 02:52
Looking forward to trying this recipe. Appreciated the comments about using as a sandwich spread and will try over pasta with tomatoes too!