Herb and Argan Salad
Before Neal became our chef, he worked on the line. Late one night, I asked him to make me a salad, telling him only that I wanted it to be light, with plenty of herbs. As it turns out, what came out from the kitchen was the most delicious salad I had ever eaten. There was something about the balance of flavors, the lightness of the dressing, and the perfect tart-citrus acidity, with just the right seasoning. Oh, and yes, tons of herbs. Also, either he knew of my love of fennel and capers, or we just share that fondness, but those made it into the salad, too. Capers have a briny saltiness with a bit of a mustard taste, and fennel adds a uniquely aromatic anise flavor. The nuts give the salad some crunch, and the avocado some creaminess, but I tasted another nutty flavor that turned out to be argan oil. Like macadamia oil, this oil is so flavorful that a little goes a long way.
- 1 large bowl of mixed baby lettuces
- 1 very large handful parsley leaves
- 1 small handful mint leaves
- 1 small handful purple basil leaves
- 1/2 fennel bulb, cored and shaved thin on a mandoline or using a sharp knife
- 1 large handful grape or teardrop tomatoes, sliced into halves
- 3 tablespoons capers
- 2 tablespoons argan oil, or other nut oil
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small handful raw pistachio nuts, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil or nut oil
- 1/2 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
Adapted from oneluckyduck.com
Place the greens, herbs, fennel, tomatoes, and capers in a bowl and toss with the argan oil and lemon juice, adjusting quantities to taste. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the pistachio nuts in a small bowl, add the olive oil and a pinch of salt, and toss well to coat.
Divide the salad among serving plates, sprinkle with the chopped pistachio mixture, and top with sliced avocado.