Food Review

Smoked Duck Salad with Blue Cheese, Dried Cranberries, Sugar Snap Peas, and Pistachios


In sophisticated recipes, hazelnut and walnut oils have long been popular. Recent marketing efforts by pistachio growers have made the green nuts more appealing to buyers, especially because they are now often sold shelled. 

The full-flavored, vibrant green oil is also finding a broader audience. As the vinaigrette for a room-temperature salad, the oil stands up well to bold-tasting smoked duck breast, crumbled blue cheese, and dried cranberries. In many specialty oil recipes, using the nut or seed in the dish visually helps to reinforce the oil’s presence.

Vibrant flavors, textures, and colors fill this salad. The pistachios give a visual clue to the tangy, tasty vinaigrette’s oil. You can also make this into a main course by doubling the ingredients.

See other related recipes in Prepared Food Focus: Specialty Oil Infusions

Yield: 4 (5-ounce) servings for an appetizer or lunch

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Shelf life: Before dressing, at least 3 days 


For the vinaigrette:

1 large egg yolk (or 1 tablespoon pasteurized)

2 teaspoons (½ ounce) Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

9 tablespoons pistachio oil

1 ounce minced shallots

½ ounce finely chopped chives

For the salad:

5 ounces mixed baby greens

4 ounces smoked duck breast, thinly sliced on the diagonal

4 ounces thin green beans or sugar snap peas, stringed, if needed, and cooked until crisp-tender

4 ounces crumbled blue cheese

1 ounce dried cranberries

1 ounce salted pistachios, coarsely chopped and toasted 


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, mustard, and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the oil to form an emulsion. Add the shallots, chives, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper and chill mixture while preparing the salad.
  2. Put the greens in a large bowl. Add the duck, sugar snap peas, cranberries, blue cheese, and pistachios. Drizzle on the vinaigrette and serve.

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