I have gone palm crazy. No, that is not a misprint. I haven’t gone plumb crazy (despite what you may have heard), though when the season hits, I just may! No, I have gone palm crazy, i.e. absolutely crazy for hearts of palm. I hosted a small dinner over the weekend, and lacking enough ingredients to put into a satisfying side salad, went out on a limb (there were some picky eaters on hand), opened up a jar of Melissa’s Hearts of Palm, rinsed them and sliced coins directly into the salad. Getting such a positive response, I decided to hunt for a recipe or two, or three…now FIVE that I wanted to try using this delicious ingredient. The name alone brings to mind exotic locales, island breezes, and palm fronds swaying beneath a setting sun, so why not use them in as many dishes as possible?
Last night’s choice was a simple salad that I sprung on the mister to see what sort of a reaction I’d get. He loved it! Success!
Hearts of Palm Salad
1 14.8-ounce jar Melissa’s Hearts of Palm, drained and rinsed
1 large tomato (as it happens, from my garden!), seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1 scallion, white and green parts, sliced on an angle into ¼” slices
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, julienned
1-2 tablespoons Light Italian Dressing (I use Kraft Light Zesty Italian)
4 leaves of green leaf lettuce
Fresh Parmesan cheese, widely grated
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Slice the hearts of palm into ½” wide slices, and place in a medium bowl. Add the tomato, garlic, scallion, basil, and dressing, and toss lightly until well coated. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to allow flavors to blend. Arrange leaf lettuce on four salad plates, top with salad mixture, and garnish with fresh shavings of Parmesan cheese and a sprig of fresh basil.
For more great salad ideas, I recommend this book:
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