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.
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.
- 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.