• SALAD
  • 3 large, ripe avocados, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 can (14 oz) hearts of palm, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 cobs of sweet corn, and small amount of oil for brushing
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 2 cups halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Toasted pepitas for garnish
  •  
  • VINAIGRETTE
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (~30 grinds)
  • 1/4 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed (or canola) oil

I first saw hearts of palm years ago on a menu at local Cuban restaurant Mojito. I was far less adventurous with the culinary world at the time, and gravitated towards the ‘ensalada palmito’ solely because of the avocado, tomatoes, onions and citrus dressing – what were those ‘hearts of palm’ listed on the salad anyways? Little did I know I’d soon be eating a creamy, somewhat tangy ingredient that I’d quickly learn to love.

Since then, I’ve had them at various Carribean and South American restaurants in town, and occasionally pick it up (albeit expensively) from the store to throw into a salad. But after watching an episode of Pati’s Mexican Kitchen, I knew I needed to try out her Avocado & Hearts of Palm Chop Chop Salad recipe. While I made the same vinaigrette, I tend to be an ingredient junkie and added quite a bit more of the other mix-ins.

This creamy side dish needs all of the ingredients to shine - creamy avocado and hearts of palm, crunchy red onion and pepitas, tangy vinaigrette, and sweet corn and tomatoes. In a pinch, you could probably substitute toasted sunflower seeds for the pepitas, as they have somewhat of a similar flavor.

Adapted from Pati’s Mexican Table

  • Prepare corn by heating grill to high for approximately 15 minutes, then lightly brush grill with oil. Fully husk the corn, brush with oil, and add directly to the grill. Turn frequently until lightly charred on all sides. Cut kernels off with a sharp knife once the cob is cool enough to handle – will yield approximately 1.5 cups
  • Mix vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl; emulsify with a whisk
  • Toss all ingredients gently in a large bowl

Serve around 1.5 cups of salad with 1-1.5 tbsp of pepitas as garnish. The dish works perfectly as an accompaniment to a hearty entree, such as a smoky bean casserole or grilled meats.

Avocado, grilled corn and hearts of palm salad

Avocado, grilled corn and hearts of palm salad