Market Rucola and Wild Cress Salad with Pistachio Aillade By: Nancy Silverton

Rating: 
Yield: 
Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients: 

For the Salad
8 cups of lettuce mix (rucola and wild cress)
2 avocados cut into 8ths length wise
1 red onion, sliced into 1/8 inch thick rounds
2 ounces of lemon vinaigrette
20 oro blanco segments, membrane removed
1 cup whole pistachios
1 cup picholine olives
1 lemon
Salt to taste
Cracked black pepper to finish

For the Lemon Vinaigrette
¼ cup minced shallots
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
½ cup extra- virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

For the Pistachio Aillade
¼ cup of pistachios, chopped
Small pinch of maldon sea salt
2 garlic cloves, zested
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons whole pistachios, shelled
7 tablespoons pistachio oil
¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions: 

To make the Salad
Spread the aillade evenly across 4 to 6 plates.

In a mixing bowl, season the lettuce mix with salt and toss to combine, dress with the lemon vinaigrette. (season with more salt and lemon juice to taste) Season the avocado slices with salt and lemon juice.

On the plates, layer avocado slices, oro blanco segments, onions, pistachios, and picholine olives on the aillade. Top with the lettuce mix and continue to layer 3 times.

To make the Lemon Vinaigrette
Combine the shallots, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl. Set the bowl aside for 5 to 10 minutes to marinate the shallots. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to combine. Stir in the pepper. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper, if desired. Use the vinaigrette or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to three days. Bring the vinaigrette to room temperature and whisk to recombine the ingredients before using.

To make the Aillade
In a mortar and pestle - combine the chopped pistachios, maldon, garlic, and lemon zest into a paste. Slowly drizzle in the pistachio oil, adding more salt to taste.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!