Top Chef Master Chris Cosentino shared some of his favorite recipes with us. These meet dietary guidelines for people with Parkinson’s, so check them out!
The name of this dish is inspired by the promotional slogan that appeared on crates of California fruits shipped across the country in the decades following the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. It appears the same way on my menu at Incanto. Use this salad recipe as a template, switching out the fruits and nuts listed here for whatever looks good at the market.
LAND OF FRUITS & NUTS
1 cup (4 oz/125 g) pistachio nuts
3 tbsp pistachio oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (1 oz/30 g) pistachio nuts
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt, preferably Halen Môn (see Sources), and freshly ground black pepper
3 lb (1.5 kg) heirloom tomatoes, in assorted colors
2 melons, in different varieties and preferably different colors
1/4 lb (125 g) arugula leaves
1/4 cup (1/4 oz/7 g) fresh opal basil leaves, torn
1 serrano chile, cut into paper-thin rings
1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) Zinfandel Vinaigrette (page 160)
To make the pistachio butter, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spread the pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven until dry and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let cool completely and then transfer to a blender, add the oil and a pinch of salt, and process until smooth and spreadable. Transfer to an airtight container and reserve. (The butter can be made up to 2 weeks
in advance, covered, and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.) Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (165°C).
In a small bowl, toss the 1/4 cup (1 oz/30 g) pistachios with the
1 tablespoon oil and a little salt, spread on the baking sheet, and roast in the oven until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
Cut the tomatoes into different shapes and sizes, such as slices
1 inch (2.5 cm) thick and 1/2 -inch (12-mm) wedges. Halve the melons, discard the seeds, and then peel away the skin, making sure you keep their nice round shape. Cut the melon halves into different shapes, such as crescent moons, halved crescent moons, and cubes. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, melons, toasted pistachios, arugula, basil, and about half of the chile rings. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper, toss again, and then taste and adjust the seasonings.
To serve, put 1 tablespoon of the pistachio butter on 4 different areas of a large platter, and using the back of a spoon, drag each mound into a streak across the platter. Artfully arrange the salad down the middle of the platter. Top with the remaining chile rings and serve right away.
Photo credit: Michael Harland Turken, recipe courtesy: Chris Cosentino