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apricot pistachio salad with cilantro lemon dressing

Ingredients

1 bunch cilantro*
1 small clove garlic (from the inside of the head)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil**
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 ounces arugula, washed and dried
5 large apricots (or 7 small), sliced into wedges
2 to 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese (2 if it’s sharp, 4 if it’s mild)***
15 ounce can of cannellini beans (or other white beans), rinsed and strained
1/3 cup ground or finely chopped raw pistachios

Instructions

  1. Remove the stems of the cilantro by grabbing the leafy part and twisting it off. Discard the big stems, wash the leaves, and then dry them really well with a salad spinner or a towel.
  2. Mince the garlic in a food processor (you might have to scrape down the sides and pulse a couple more times). Add the cilantro and olive oil to the garlic in the food processor, and blend until very finely minced, nearly puréed. Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and blend for about a minute, until everything comes together smoothly. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  3. Place the arugula in the bottom of a salad bowl, and toss with a few spoon-fulls of the dressing. Then add the apricots, blue cheese, beans, and pistachios. Drizzle with the rest of the dressing (or to taste), toss everything together, and enjoy.

Notes

* If you can’t stand cilantro, this dressing works well with parsley too. You’ll have to be a little more careful about removing the big stems (cilantro stems are way more tender). You could even use parsley and basil, or all basil. If you use all basil, it will dominate the flavor of the salad, which is different but still super tasty.

** The easiest way to do this is to use a liquid measuring cup, and pour halfway between 1/4 and 1/2 cup.

*** If you don’t like blue cheese, another crumbly cheese will work great here. Try bulgarian feta (or any feta really), cotija (use a smaller amount, because it’s nice and salty), chèvre/fresh goat cheese, or even some parmesan or pecorino shavings (again, so salty—use less). If you want to make this vegan, feel free to leave out the cheese altogether. If you leave out the cheese, add a teeny tiny bit more garlic to the dressing (like, 1 more small clove), and toast the ground pistachios until they’re very light golden brown (toast them over the stove at medium heat in about 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, stirring constantly until they’re ready, and then remove them to a plate).