Open-Faced Avocado Sandwiches

4 servings

2 cups (50 g) Arugula leaves
1 small Garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1/3 cup (80 ml) Extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cup (60 ml) Fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cup (22 g) Grated Dry Jack* cheese or other hard aged cheese, plus 1 piece (about 2 ounces/60 g), for shaving
2 tablespoons chopped Pistachio kernels
1/2 teaspoon Salt
8 slices French bread, lightly toasted
1 English cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large Avocados, pitted, peeled, and cut into small cubes
*Dry Jack refers to the aged version of this classic California cheese.


Place the arugula, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, cheese, pistachio kernels and salt into a food processor and process for ten seconds. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides and process again for ten seconds.
For each serving, place two pieces of toasted bread on a plate. Spread pesto generously on each slice. Cover pesto with a layer of cucumber slices and top with avocado cubes. Use a vegetable peeler to shave desired amount of Dry Jack cheese over the tops.
Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Information per Serving: 466 calories, 14 g protein, 29 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 40 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 17 mg cholesterol, 822 mg sodium.

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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!