Sweet and earthy walnut pesto recipe made with juicy apples, crunchy walnuts and fresh celery leaves. This recipe is great for using up the leaves on top of your celery and can be whizzed up in just 5 minutes.
👩🏻🍳 Why make this recipe
With autumn comes the changing of the weather and leaves and the need for more comforting and warming dishes comes about. So its out with the basil and in with the celery leaf, out with the pine nuts and in with the walnut to create this delicious autumnal pesto. Celery and walnut pesto is less aromatic than a basil pesto recipe, with more of an earthy flavour. Its perfectly balanced to go with autumnal dishes such as roasted root veggies, baked sweet potatoes, warming and creamy lasagnas and even plump, little ravioli parcels.....there's plenty of ideas to go at.
The celery leaf is also great to use up in soup recipes: celery, apple and blue cheese garden soup post
The autumnal vibe of this recipe was inspired by our latest trip to Italy. Did we eat a lot whilst we were there?.... Yes, of course, we ate a tonne. Did we care that we were meant to be there to plan our wedding and not eat all of Italy's pasta in one sitting? No, not one bit.
To make this walnut pesto recipe you will need:
- Celery leaves roughly chopped
- Walnut oil
- Garlic cloves roughly chopped
- Green apples cored and diced
- Mint leaves
- Edamame beans
- Parmesan grated
- Cider vinegar
Measurements: For the amounts required, see the recipe card below and use the toggle button to see the recipe in cups.
Celery leaves: can be replaced with celery stems but make sure to peel the outer edge to remove any stringy bits first.
Edamame beans: are optional but will add extra protein and give the pesto a more robust texture.
Walnuts: are the best option for this recipe but if you can't get hold of any a good substitute would be pecans.
Parmesan: For a vegetarian version replace parmesan with vegetarian cheese.
🔪 Step by step instructions
Place the celery leaves, garlic cloves, walnuts, chopped apples, mint leaves, beans, salt and cider vinegar into a blender or food processor. Add half of the water and half of the walnut oil.
Pulse into a paste adding more water or oil if needed.
- Grate the parmesan and stir in a bit at a time until you are happy with the taste and texture.
Taste and add more salt, parmesan or oil depending on the taste and consistency you are after.
⛪ Our wedding
But yes......our wedding!! Thats right - this massive thing that seems to be gobbling up my time at the moment, but something that I've failed to talk about on here. So next year, Ben and I will be married in the beautiful surroundings of the Italian countryside, following on from our engagement last year whilst we were in Pienza!
Of course the plans so far for the wedding are lots of pasta, risotto, wine and a good bunch of laughter and happy times. Excited doesn't even begin to describe where I am at with this right now. There's still lots of planning to be sorted, and I'm sure a great deal of stress to cope with but I can't wait to get back to Italy next year and become Mrs Jones :-O
But back to the trip we've just had: A holiday abroad in autumn is just simply magical. All the trees are changing and brandishing fiery reds or warming oranges, the mornings have a slight chill which brings a mysterious mist and subtle sunrises. The birds are also aware of the changes and migrate above the skies or dance in pretty patterns through the trees.
Grapevines are usually harvested for their annual fruits at this time of year, but some vineyards have vines that flower a little later so are still flush with huge bunches of juicy grapes. A glorious site and I really do hope that next year we can get wedding pictures amongst grapevines with cascading bunches of grapes 🙂
The autumnal produce of Italy from peaches and beetroot to truffles and cabbage, meant that we had some stunning plates of food. Of course there was the usual mountain of cheese and cold cuts, but there was also plenty of inspiration for me with dishes like: sea bream baked with paprika and radicchio; suckling pig with apples, raisins and cabbage; shredded beetroot chutney; fresh pappardelle pasta with a creamy mushroom sauce and fresh truffle; the glorious and ubiquitous apricot breakfast tart; sea bream and lime tortelloni with burrata cheese; and of course walnut pesto. I just had to have a go at making my own version of this incredible pesto!
💭 Expert tips
- Only add half of the liquid ingredients (oil and water) to begin with. Blend and then check the consistency before adding more water or oil if needed.
- Grate the parmesan separately then stir in to the blended pesto. This improves the texture and gives more control over the taste and amount of parmesan
❓ Frequently asked questions
Transfer the pesto to a sealable jar or container. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost leave on the side overnight. If freezing I recommend freezing small amounts in small containers so you can defrost as much or as little as you need.
This pesto is great stirred through pasta, rice, couscous, quinoa or any other kind of grain. I also love to use it as a topping on roasted sweet potato, chargrilled veggies and pan fried chicken or fish.
Celery, Apple and Walnut Pesto
- Small blender or food processor
- 100 g Celery leaves roughly chopped
- 150 ml Walnut oil
- 100 ml water
- 2 Garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 50 g Walnuts
- 85 g Green apples cored and diced
- 10 g Mint leaves
- 50 g Edamame beans
- 75 g Parmesan grated
- Pinch of Salt
- Teaspoon Cider vinegar
- Place the celery leaves, garlic cloves, walnuts, chopped apples, mint leaves, beans, salt and cider vinegar into a blender or food processor. Add half of the water and half of the walnut oil.100 g Celery leaves, 150 ml Walnut oil, 100 ml water, 2 Garlic cloves, 50 g Walnuts, 85 g Green apples, 10 g Mint leaves, 50 g Edamame beans, Pinch of Salt, Teaspoon Cider vinegar
- Pulse into a paste adding more water or oil if needed.
- Grate the parmesan and stir in a bit at a time until you are happy with the taste and texture.75 g Parmesan
- Taste and add more salt, parmesan or oil depending on the taste and consistency you are after.