Today´s recipe for the French Friday with Dorie group is Anne Leblanc´s Pistachio Avocado.
As Dorie so aptly points out, this is not so much a recipe as a list of ingredients and therefore the end result depends entirely upon the quality of the very few ingredients used. All you will need to prepare this delicious appetizer are Hass avocados, freshly squeezed lemon juice, Fleur de sel and the best quality Pistachio Oil you can afford.
Avocados have green, buttery flesh and a large central stone. In most European countries, two main avocado varieties are available, namely Hass and Fuerte. These two varieties are easily distinguishable. The Hass variety (which I always use) has a knobbly purple-black exterior and a creamy-textured, richly flavored interior; the Fuerte variety has a smooth green skin. Avocados are very high in both protein and oil. When purchasing avocados, you should look for the ones that have unblemished skins with no soft spots, which suggest bruising. They are ready to eat when the flesh yields slightly when pressed with the thumb.
Pistachios are slim, oblong nuts, ranging from pale, creamy yellow to dark green. There are the kernels of small olive-like fruits. They grow in clusters, and are cultivated in the Middle East, some Mediterranean countries, and California. Unblemished, large, plump, dark-green nuts are the best quality. Buy them from a reliable shop with a high turnover to ensure that they are not rancid or artificially dyed.
Cold-pressed native Pistachio Oil, not pistachio flavored oil, is certainly a specialty oil. Pistachio Oil is a pressed oil, extracted from the fruit of the pistachio nut. Compared to other nut oils, pistachio oil has a particularly strong flavor, it tastes similar to the nut from which it is extracted and it is used as a table oil to add flavor to foods such as this wonderful Pistachio Avocado. The Pistachio Oil that Dorie uses in her recipe was manufactured by the well-known Huilerie J. Leblanc (hence the name of the recipe) but since we have the most fabulous local oil mill in Bonn, of course, I bought my Pistachio Oil there…
… it has a wonderful brownish-dark green color and incredibly intensive flavor.
And since it has such an extraordinary flavor, it was certainly worth the investment, we have already plans for a few other delicious appetizers that will showcase this very special oil.
But for today, I used it for Dorie Greenspan´s Anne Leblanc´s Pistachio Avocado – I cut the ripe and unblemished avocado into thin slices, drizzled it first with a good and healthy squeeze of lemon juice to prevent discoloration, then some of the fabulous Pistachio Oil and finished it with a slight sprinkling of some delicate Fleur de sel. I also added some fresh, unsalted pistachio for flavor. To die for!
To accompany this elegant and exquisite appetizer, I decided to bake some equally elegant and simple Oat Cakes, using a recipe (sans the vanilla extract) that I found back in August of last year on Hester´s lovely blog Alchemy in the Kitchen – they were perfect with this appetizer, not too overpowering, not too salty and they perfectly cut through the richness of the oil as well as the avocado.
This was a very interesting and special recipe that only works with the best quality ingredients that you can find. And if you use wonderful, ripe Hass avocados, freshly squeezed lemon juice, Fleur de sel and a cold-pressed native Pistachio Oil, you will be delighted with this recipe. The Pistachio Oil should preferably be bought from a reliable source, or if you are as fortunate as we are and find a local Oil Mill (Bonner Oelmanufaktur), then, by all means, you should try to get the oil from there, it is worth the investment, no doubt whatsoever.
I am curious to see what other interesting ways the members of the French Fridays with Dorie group decided to present Anne Leblanc´s Pistachio Avocado in. Please click here for their own and personal interpretations.
Pistachio Oil from the “Bonner Oelmanufaktur” (www.bonneroelmanufaktur.de/pistazienoel-kalt-gepresst-nativ/33-pistazienoel-kalt-gepresst-nativ-100ml.html)