Why turn to the same ol’ balsamic vinaigrette when you can whip up a bright, fresh take on dressing like this one? With toasty flavors from pistachio oil, fragrant lemon, and briney capers, it’s as complex in taste as it’s simple to make. Chef Neal Harden of Pure Food and Wine in New York uses it on his addictive Fennel, Avocado, and Mint Salad.

What to buy: Pistachio oil, with its nutty, multidimensional flavor, makes a sophisticated addition to this dressing. You can find it at some health food stores or online. If you can’t locate it, pumpkin seed oil is a decent substitute

  • Yield: 1 1/4 cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 5 mins 
  • Active: 5 mins 

Ingredients (8)

  • Finely grated zest of 2 medium lemons
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from about 2 1/2 medium lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup drained capers in brine, minced
  • 1/4 cup roasted pistachio oil
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion (about 1/2 small onion)


Combine lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and capers in a medium, nonreactive bowl and whisk to dissolve the salt. Slowly add pistachio and olive oils, pouring them in a thin stream while whisking constantly. Stir in onion, taste, and adjust seasoning as desired.