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Quick and Easy, Salads

Bean salad with celery leaf pesto

Bean salad with celery leaf pesto
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Last month, my friend Phil Rosenthal, creator and producer of the television show “Everybody Loves Raymond,” came to my little town in Italy to film an episode of his new travel-food show, “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having.” Among the daily ... Read more

Total time: 25 minutes | Serves 6 to 8

Celery leaf pesto

  • 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove (grated or minced if you’re making the pesto in a mortar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, more if needed
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 3/4 cups whole fresh celery leaves (use the dark green leaves if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste

Step 1In the bowl of a miniature food processor or the jar of a blender fitted with a metal blade, combine the pine nuts, garlic, salt and half of the olive oil. Add the parsley and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the food processor and add the celery leaves, Parmigiano, lemon juice and remaining olive oil, and purée. Add more olive oil if necessary to achieve a loose paste. Don’t mix the pesto any longer than necessary as the blade heats up the garlic and may turn the pesto slightly bitter. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lemon juice if desired. This makes about 1 cup pesto, which can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.


  • 6 cups cooked beans (cannelini, borlotti, ceci or a mix), drained, rinsed and drained again
  • Celery leaf pesto
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 4 celery leaves (look for the lightest leaves you can find), stacked and thinly sliced

Step 1In a large bowl, combine the beans, about 5 tablespoons pesto, diced celery, 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and one-half teaspoon of the salt, tossing very gently to coat the beans with the seasonings without smashing them. Add more pesto, vinegar or salt to taste. Transfer the beans to a serving dish and sprinkle with the celery leaves.


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