An Endive Salad With Pistachio Aillade, From Chef Nancy Silverton

Protein itself is not that hard to come by, even for plant-based eaters. Legumes, nuts, and seeds can all add toward an individual’s daily protein intake, but few of these are actually considered complete proteins—with the exception of pistachios.

Within this past year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) named pistachios a complete source of protein for anyone older than five years old. Meaning the little green nuts contain significant levels of all nine essential amino acids—the protein-building blocks our bodies don’t naturally produce. These are critical for building and maintaining muscle.

Aside from the standout salty taste and subtle crunch, pistachios’ protein status makes them a viable option for a main course. So, gone are the days where salads were thought of as a side dish and pistachios were just meant for snacking.

James Beard Award winning chef and co-owner of Mozza Restaurant Group, Nancy Silverton, combines the two for a nourishing and hearty dinner salad.

The entire salad serves four, making it a great dish for a dinner party, a family, or solo with leftovers. Now, this isn’t your simple two-step salad, but every step is worth the final result, and the ingredients are easy enough to find. (If you’re looking for less of a project, you can technically skip the pistachio aillade—but trust us, the flavor of the sauce takes this salad from good to gourmet.)

Here’s how to make and assemble Silverton’s pistachio-starring salad:

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