Pistachio-Celery Pesto

Makes 1 heaping cup or 6 servings


  • 2 cups lightly packed basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp celery leaves, chopped
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil (more or less for desired texture)
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped pistachios, toasted*
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp peeled & finely minced celery
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or favorite hard cheese)
  • ⅛ tsp kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • fresh lemon juice to taste

Special Equipment

  • food processor
  • spatula
  • microplane


Toast Pistachios -

*You can purchase toasted pistachios but to toast them yourself is easy:

  1. Preheat oven to 325º
  2. Spread nuts in a single layer on a baking pan and bake until light brown and fragrant, about 5-10 minutes depending on the amount of nuts. Check frequently and stir them to ensure even toasting
  3. Cool before chopping

Make Pesto

  1. Put the basil and celery leaves in a food processor.  With the motot running, add the oil in a thin steady stream and process until the leaves are finely chopped, about 1 minute
  2. Add the pistachios, garlic, and olive oil (as much or as little as you want for desired consistency) and process for another 20 seconds or until the nuts are finely chopped, but not a paste.  If you process too long, the machine will heat up the pesto, cook the basil and cause it to discolor
  3. Transfer the pesto to a bowl.  Stir in the minced celery and cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice and mix to combine

How to Store Pesto

To Refrigerate: Add a layer of olive oil on top. Pesto will darken but when ready to use, stir the olive oil into the pesto and it will return to its vibrant color

To Freeze: Do not add cheese.  Store in small containers or ice cube trays.  Thaw in refrigerator, then add and stir in cheese when ready to use