Last week, I found an unglazed ceramic Pigeon Toe Mod Mortar + Pestle at a modern home and lifestyle shop called Gather Home + Lifestyle, and I could not resist purchasing it. When I arrived home with my new treasure, I decided to use the mortar and pestle to create a pistachio aillade. The pistachio aillade should be made with the best and freshest pistachios and the highest quality extra-virgin olive oil available. I love to serve pistachio aillade with roasted cauliflower, grilled asparagus, or sautéed green beans; it is also delicious with grilled or roasted meat or as an accompaniment to cheese.
(adapted from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers)
Makes ½ cup
- 2 ounces raw shelled pistachios
- 1 small clove of garlic, peeled
- kosher salt, to taste
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
Warm pistachios in a small sauté pan on medium low heat for 2-3 minutes until fragrant, not toasted. Coarsely chop and allow to cool slightly.
Slice the garlic clove in half lengthwise, remove the green germ, and slice thinly. Add the garlic to a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt and pound to a paste. Add the toasted and chopped pistachios to the garlic in the mortar and pestle and pound again until coarsely ground. Blend in the olive oil and the orange zest.
Set the aillade aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. The aillade will keep refrigerated for several days. Bring to room temperature prior to serving.
The pistachio aillade pairs perfectly with La Jeune Autize, a Morbier cheese made entirely of goat’s milk, and homemade plum jam. As an accompaniment to cheese, I omitted the garlic from the aillade and added a few whole pistachios.