Pistachio Peach Salad with Ricotta Salata

There are two things I love about eating out at a restaurant. I want the meal to be something I can’t easily make at home and I want meals that spark an idea. This pistachio peach salad was inspired by a meal I had at a recent dinner in Santa Cruz. My friend Liz puts on magical dinners around food history (called the the Curated Feast) and was kind enough to invite me to her recent dinner about the Silk Road.

The chef prepared a peach barley dish that hit all the right notes. And so, I made mental notes and created this peach salad pulling inspiration from that dish. At the heart of this dish is a pistachio-fennel crumble. The crumble is one of my new favorite salad additions. It’s a fun flavor and has a wonderful texture to dishes like this.

One note. The beans here are optional and totally not for everyone. I recommend starting this recipe without the beans if you’re at all unsure. I just like the beans because it gives me the ability to eat this salad for lunch.

Peach Salad

variations

Nuts: Swap out the pistachios for almonds or hazelnuts.

Vegan: Leave out the ricotta.

Grains: Add a cup or so of cooked grains to the salad. I like quinoa, sorghum, or farro with the peaches.

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Ingredients

⅓ cup pistachio meat

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon sea salt

2 to 3 large yellow peaches

1 cup cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed if using canned

¼ cup crumbled ricotta salata

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Pinch of black pepper


Instructions

  • Nuts and SeedsIn a small pan, toast the pistachios with the fennel. Transfer to a food processor or blender along with the red pepper flakes and a small pinch of salt. Pulse until the pistachios are in small pieces.
  • Cut the peaches into ½” thick slices and combine in a bowl with the peaches, beans (if using- see note), and ricotta. Add the pistachio mixture and drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil. Taste and add salt/pepper as desired.

Notes

Tips & Tricks: Make an extra batch of the pistachio mixture and use on salads.

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: pistachios, peaches, beans

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