Chicken and Jicama Salad with Celery Pesto

Chicken and Jicama Salad with Celery Pesto

Chicken and Jicama Salad with Celery Pesto. As long as you can pound it or crush it then I say – there is no such thing as the one true pesto.

Chicken and Jicama Salad with Celery Pesto 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source Inspired by Nancy SilvertonPublished

Use the pesto immediately or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to two days — any longer and it will lose its pretty green color and vibrant flavor.

Chicken and Jicama Salad with Celery Pesto


  • 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus more if needed)
  • ¼ ounce flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 ounce celery leaves (light green leaves are best, divided)
  • 1–2 tablespoon grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast (about ounces, cut into 3/4‑inch dice)
  • 1 pound fresh jicama (cut into 3/4‑inch dice)
  • 3 stalks celery (cut into ¼‑inch slices on an extreme bias)
  • 4 scallions (cut into ¼‑inch slices on an extreme bias, both white and green parts)
  • 8 ounce burrata (optional)
  • 3–4 fresh sprigs tarragon (leaves only)
  • whole lettuce leaves (for serving, optional)


To make the celery pesto: Combine the pine nuts, garlic, salt, and about half of the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the parsley and pulse until it is finely chopped. Turn off the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add about two-thirds of the celery leaves, the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the remaining olive oil and purée, stopping as soon as the ingredients form a homogenous, but not too smooth paste, and adding more olive oil if necessary to obtain a loose, spoonable pesto. Cover and set aside. (see notes).

To assemble the salad: Combine diced chicken, diced jicama, sliced celery, and sliced scallions in a large bowl. Drizzle with 2–3 tablespoons celery pesto (or more to taste). Toss to combine.

Pile the salad in the center of a large serving plate. If you are using burrata, nestle it in the center of the salad. Use the back of a spoon to create a shallow crater in the center and spoon more pesto into the crater. Garnish with remaining celery leaves and tarragon leaves, and serve it “taco-style” wrapped in lettuce leaves, if you like.