This Mediterranean Diet-inspired salad is a “fat and fiber bomb”—healthy fat from avocado and olive oil paired with fiber from artichokes and nuts. And that’s not even including the fiber in avocados that we bet you didn’t know about! (See “Featured Nutrient,” below.)
Marinating your own artichoke hearts is easy as pie, plus they taste better than jarred versions you get at the store. Make sure to use real extra virgin olive oil. Prepared oils are typically highly processed, and many so-called extra-virgin olive oils are fake. One that’s not—and that’s inexpensive and available everywhere—is Cobram Estate. It costs around 10 bucks a bottle, it’s super delicious, and it will make this recipe taste even more amazing. —Dr. Jonny
Notes from The Clean Food Coach
Making the artichokes a day or two ahead saves you valuable holiday prep time and also gives the flavors a chance to meld. If you don’t double the salad recipe, the leftover marinated artichoke hearts are good for up to a week. Toss them into leafy green salads or warm pasta to brighten the flavors and add some potent nutrients.
To roast raw, shelled pistachios (or to crisp up softer roasted pistachios), simply preheat a toaster oven to 350°F, spread the shelled nut meats on a small rimmed pan, and bake for 6–8 minutes until very fragrant and starting to brown—do not scorch.
Featured ingredient: Avocados
Avocados are the poster child for healthy high-fat foods. The fat in an avocado is largely monounsaturated, specifically oleic acid, an omega-9 fat that is found in high amounts in olive oil. Monounsaturated fat has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer and diabetes. They’re also a key component of the Mediterranean diet, which has been linked with lower rates of heart disease in every major study.
Avocados are also great sources of lutein, a natural antioxidant that supports eye and skin health, and fiber—between 11 and 17 grams per avocado! Plus, they contain good amounts of potassium, folate, vitamin A, and beta-carotene. All for only a couple hundred calories and next to no effect on blood sugar levels.
To double the recipe for a larger gathering, use the entire marinated artichoke recipe and double the salad ingredients. You can also serve this rich salad on a bed of young and tender leafy greens to further stretch it, if desired.
- To make marinated artichoke hearts, combine olive oil, oregano, thyme, salt, and red pepper in small saucepan, and whisk gently to combine. Add artichokes, and toss gently to coat.
- Heat over low heat 10 minutes to warm and release the flavors of the spices. Remove from heat, and transfer contents to a non-reactive container, such as a mason jar or glass Pyrex dish. Stir in lemon juice, cover, and refrigerate until needed.
- To assemble salad, allow one half of Marinated Artichoke Hearts recipe to come to room temperature, or warm in a small saucepan over low heat to remove the refrigerator chill.
- In medium bowl, combine warmed artichoke hearts with prepared avocado, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss gently to thoroughly mix.
- Just before serving, mound salad attractively into the center of serving plate, sprinkle with prepared pistachios, and arrange cheese in small stack at center of salad.