Thursday, August 16, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Heart of Palm Salad

Recently, I was fondly recalling the wonderful meal that I had in Baltimore back in May.  I enjoyed the soft shelled crabs so much that I completely overlooked the heart of palm salad.

Heart of palm, also called palm heart or palm cabbage, is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees, most notably the coconut palm.  A delicately sweet, ivory-colored vegetable, heart of palm is literally the center of a young palm tree, most commonly Bactris gasipaes, the peach palm. The texture is tender-crisp.  It may be eaten on its own, and often it is eaten in a salad.

As of 2008, Costa Rica is the primary source of fresh palm hearts in the US. Peach palm is also cultivated in Hawaii, and now has limited distribution on the mainland, primarily to the restaurant trade.  Florida's wild Sabal palmetto or cabbage palm was once a source of hearts of palm but is now protected by conservation law.

Bonefish Grill Heart of Palm Salad with Herb Vinaigrette


4 cups romaine lettuce
A handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 can heart of palm
10-12 kalamata olives, sliced in half
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Herb Vinaigrette
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sugar (could use splenda)
3 tablespoons water (I added a bit more water after tasting it)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1.  Assemble salad (4 servings)
2.  For dressing; whisk everything in a bowl, then microwave for one minute.  Remove from microwave and whisk.  Cover and chill for one hour before serving.

Thanks to Lacey for the recipe; I had a hard time finding on the web