This Brazilian hearts of palm salad is irresistibly good...and ridiculously easy to make. What I love about this dish is how a couple of cans of artichoke hearts and hearts of palm can transform a simple summer salad into an exotic tropical side dish. The creamy lemon-mustard-garlic dressing brings it all together for a colorful substantial salad that goes with everything and is easily doubled or tripled to feed a crowd.
Do you ever find yourself digging to the bottom of the salad bowl to get all the good stuff? The chunks of avocado, cucumber or tomato that have sunk down under all the lettuce leaves?
This hearts of palm salad is all that good stuff, all the favorites: hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, cucumbers, avocado and cherry tomatoes, bathed in a delicious mustardy vinaigrette. This is the dish you want at every picnic, barbecue or cookout.
Maybe you're wondering 'what in the world are hearts of palm?' They are a curious ingredient with lots of mystery and intrigue so here's the scoop.
WHAT ARE HEARTS OF PALM?
- Hearts of palm are the tender inner section of a baby palm tree trunk or stem
- They're vegetables that many consider to be a gourmet delicacy.
- In the past hearts of palm production was endangering the Brazil icara palm tree population but now the hearts are harvested from quicker-growing, non-endangered palm trees.
- Hearts of palm can be eaten raw but they don't keep for very long when fresh, so the majority are sold in cans or jars, preserved in brine
- Hearts of palm have a delicate flavor and texture similar to canned artichoke hearts or canned asparagus
- They add an exotic and tropical twist to salads. You'll find similar chopped vegetable salads with hearts of palm throughout Latin America, especially in Brazil, Costa Rica and Ecuador, where hearts of palm are grown..
HOW TO MAKE THIS HEARTS OF PALM SALAD
To start, whisk up the dressing: olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper.
Next, open the cans of artichoke hearts and hearts of palm. Drain out the liquid and slice the hearts of palm into discs. Cut the artichoke hearts into quarters and remove any tough outer leaves.
Peel, halve, and scrape out the seeds of two hothouse cucumbers. Slice them into moons. Slice the avocado and immediately toss it with dressing to prevent it from turning brown.
Halve the cherry tomatoes and add them to the mix.
Toss everything with dressing. That's it!
I make this salad all year long, but especially in the summer when cherry tomatoes are at their best.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH HEARTS OF PALM SALAD
As I mentioned, this salad goes with everything, especially anything grilled. And here are some of my recent favorite dishes to serve with hearts of palm salad on the side:
- Spanish arroz con pollo (chicken and rice casserole)
- Grilled Chicken Sliders
- Korean BBQ Burgers
- Grilled Aleppo Pepper Chicken Thighs
Here's the recipe for Hearts of Palm Salad with Artichokes, Cucumber, Tomato and Avocado. If you try this recipe I hope you will come back to leave a comment and a star rating. I'd love to know what you think.Print
[This post first appeared on Panning The Globe in March 2017. It was updated in May 2019 with added nutritional information and more details added to the written post]