Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hearts of Palm, Avocado and Orange Salad or Have a Heart!


So you want something to go with that Peruvian chicken? Or maybe something to impress Mom on Mother's Day?  After all, hearts of palm are really the heart of the palm tree. They are the inner core of various palm trees and are now cultivated so that the entire palm tree doesn't have to be destroyed for our enjoyment! And yes, some of us know them as swamp cabbages.

 I'm not sure when I first ate them but I believe my mother used to extoll the virtues of this gourmet ingredient. I'm sure they were probably diced up and sprinkled on top of a Bibb lettuce salad and drizzled with a bit of vinaigrette. That is always a good way to go with hearts of palm. But this is better.

I don't know about you but I always seem to have one avocado laying around that needs a home. And I always keep a can of mandarin oranges in the pantry. When my kids were young they often ate them straight from the can. Cute little orange slices help make kids eat their food-even if it is a salad. Plus they are pretty. And colorful. And hearts of palm? Well, those are just a good pantry staple to have on hand. Let's face it. If company is coming, they help take a salad from ordinary to extraordinary.





If you haven't had hearts of palm, it is hard to describe how they taste. They are mild, and though they aren't crunchy, they do have a bite to them. They taste a teeny bit salty and lemony and are often used in place of artichoke hearts. Or vice versa. They have a rich mouth feel and I could eat them straight out of the can or jar. They have about 4g of protein and fiber in each cup, which isn't bad for a cute little swamp cabbage.

So now you know how this salad came about. That chicken was staring us in the face and it needed a salad. Have some hearts! Serve mom some hearts! And enjoy!



Hearts of Palm, Avocado and Orange Salad
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 T mayonnaise
1 T sour cream
6-8 drops Cholula hot sauce or your favorite
2 t fresh mint
1 T chopped cilantro
1/4 t salt
3 grinds of fresh pepper
1 c drained hearts of palm
1 can of mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
1 avocado, peeled and cut in chunks or slices
1 T minced red onion

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, hot sauce, mint, cilantro and salt and pepper in a bowl. mix well. Add in sliced hearts of palm, drained oranges, and avocado. Stir in red onion. Toss well. Serve and enjoy something different!



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26 comments:

  1. I love the name of this ingredient - it's heartwarming. What a great looking salad, Abbe! Happy Mother's Day in advance :)

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    1. I think you'd like the salad too, Sharon!

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  2. Love hearts of palm...my kids ate those and mandarin oranges straight from the can! lol This looks yummy!!

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  3. I agree, they do taste a bit like artichoke hearts. Kind of a cross between artichoke hearts and white asparagus maybe? No matter how you describe them, they are divine. I wish someone would make this salad for me, but I'm afraid we will be in the car all day on Sunday. Maybe I'll just make it for myself on Monday. Happy Mothers' Day Abbe!

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    1. Hope it was a good car ride! And that you had a good Mom's Day!

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  4. Happy Mother's Day to you, Abbe! This salad is so bright and fresh, it looks like it should be eaten at an island resort. Love it!

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    1. And I wish I was eating it at an island resort. LOL!

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  5. I have never had hearts of palm...the salad looks so beautiful and delicious with all the awesome ingredients. Excellent, Abbe.

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    1. If you ever find them, try them Angie. I bet you'd love them!

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  6. For some reason Janis Joplin is running through my head (Little Piece of My Heart). ;-) Terrific salad -- loads of flavor, and great color. And I love color. Well, not to mention flavor, too. Thanks for this.

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    1. Love that song! Yes, this salad has a lot going for it! Thanks, John!

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  7. Awesome salad Abbe...back in Brasil we used to eat lots and lots of heart of palms and could buy fresh ones...
    Thanks for this salad recipe and it the first time I heard of the term swamp cabbages...thanks for the informative post.
    Hope you are having a great week :D

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    1. Yep. Swamp cabbages is what they called them in Florida!

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  8. this salad looks gorgeous and with hear of palms....we get it all summer,freshly plucked from trees and sold in farmers market....this is what we will be making after our next trip to the fruit stall,thanks so much for sharing this lovely recipe...HAVE A WONDERFUL MOTHER'S DAY!!! :-)

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  9. I had to smile because my daughter LOVES mandarin oranges in the can and would eat it straight out of the can. At the tender age of 12 - the back of her bedroom door was her command central - things she needed to do for school, chores, etc. On a dry erase board was "things for my future apartment." Yes, she was planning on her move out by age 12! The first thing on the list? Canned mandarin oranges! The second? A tiny dog. When she moved out at 19, she sent me a text picture of her eating mandarin oranges out of the can, and the following week, she texted me a picture of her tiny Boston terrier - Rummy!

    My husband loves hearts of palm, but I never think of it - looks delicious!

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    1. She fulfilled her dreams. Too funny, Biz! Make this for Tony!

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  10. I have not seen hearts of palm in ages. What a lovely little salad recipe. A little sweet too, I so love that.

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  11. Happy Mother's Day Abbe! I would be thrilled if someone made this salad for me. You wrote a fantastic explanation of hearts of palm - I had forgotten and will put them back on my list of pantry ingredients. Love the little mandarin oranges too. Great salad, great idea and absolutely beautiful!

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  12. This looks so sunny, beautiful, and healthy --- I love your dishes!

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    1. Thanks Sue. They are from Israel! Whenever I have the privilege of going, I buy more!

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  13. Beautiful salad and I heart hearts of palm. Love love love those bowls.

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    1. Thanks, Lea Ann. I love these bowls, too. And the hearts of palm tastes even better in them!

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