I don’t get out all that much to new restaurants but when I do I always check the menus for new and unique recipes that I would want to recreate at home. This salad was inspired by a trip to Ava Gene’s, located here in Portland. It was just voted one of the 10 best restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit Magazine and we had a lovely time sampling the menu. I have never seen anyone use pistachio butter in a salad but it added such a lovely rich and nutty sweetness to the beets and carrots. Any leftover pistachio butter can be sweetened with a little honey and is great on toast or swirled into oatmeal. I have made this salad several times and I can’t get enough of it.
Carrot and beet salad with pistachio butter
Adapted from Bon Appetit
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- ¾ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
- 4 medium carrots, peeled, julienned
- 3 medium beets, peeled, julienned
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
for the pistachio butter
- 2 cups raw, shelled pistachios
- ¼- ½ cup hot water
- pinch of kosher salt
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread out the pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, stirring occasionally until golden brown, 6-8 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup of pistachios to garnish the salad. Transfer the nuts and the salt to a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Process until nuts form a smooth paste, 5-6 minutes adding the hot water to thin the mixture. You may need to stop the processor once or twice to scrape down the bowl. You can store the pistachio butter in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Combine garlic, raisins and vinegar in a large bowl: let sit for 1 hour. Remove garlic from raisin mixture and discard. Add carrots, beets, reserved pistachios, mint, lemon juice and olive oil; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Add ¼ cup of pistachio butter and toss gently.