Paillard - what a funny word! And to me, the pronunciation is even funnier: pî-yahrd. I have quite a silly imagination at times, so whenever I hear this word, I have the mental picture of a backyard full of delicious pies growing here, there and everywhere! Well, despite the funny name, this dish is absolutely fabulous, and a light, new twist on dinner. It has all the elements of an old-fashioned meat, potato and vegetable dinner, but dressed up in new clothes!
Believe it or not, there was actually a Mr. Paillard once upon a time. Oh, I guess I should say a Monsieur Paillard; he was a restauranteur in France in the late 19th century. Nowdays, paillard is actually a method of preparing meat that involves flattening it, which considerably shortens the cooking time and helps tenderize the meat. Thanks to the Monsieur, you can have this delicious meal on the table in no time flat! :)
The pecans can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container. Although I do have to confess that at my house I sometimes hide them. You see, often by the time I go to make dinner, the nut bag is empty with only a ghost of the delicious rosemary scent remaining! My problem is that I'm either not a very good hider, or I have a super sleuth for a husband. I'm continually looking for a new secret niche, these delicious morsels are just too tempting!
Give this recipe a try; but think of it as a template. I'm including a recipe for Lemon Shallot dressing, but feel free to substitute your own favourite. There are no hard and fast rules here; sometimes arugula can be hard to find, so don't hesitate to interchange other greens and/or your own favorite salad ingredients. Bon Appetit!