Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hearts of Palm/Citrus Salad

I think I need someone to help me name some of the weird things I come up with.  Naming things is not my forte.

I love hearts of palm.  Why?  Because my Daddy loves hearts of palm, and he introduced me to them when I was in college.  I don't eat them often because they are expensive- like $5 a can expensive.  I can honestly say, however, that they NEVER go to waste, because what I don't chop up and put in salads, I eat right out of the can over the cutting board.

I was feeling extravagant the other day in the grocery store (visions of grandeur stemming from our adventure trying to buy our first home, I suppose) and bought 2 cans.  Yes- 2 cans.

Last week I took one of the cans and decided to design a different kind of salad using hearts of palm.  The ingredients aren't anything new, but I think the idea of the presentation is a little different.

Here's what I did:

I took a head of romaine lettuce (washed, of course) and removed 4 nice looking, sturdy leaves from it.

I laid 2 leaves out on each chilled salad plate.

I sliced 2 pieces (they are kind of like cylinders) of hearts of palm and split them vertically in half- I ended up with 4 pieces.  I laid one heart of palm half on each lettuce leaf.

On my plate, I then added 2 slices of avocado on each piece of heart of palm.  I didn't do this on Dev's plate, because he hates avocado.  I know- weird, right?

Then I opened a can of mandarin oranges and put 3 little segments on each leaf.

I decided to dress the salad with a citrus vinaigrette.  To a small mason jar I added: about a tablespoon of dijon mustard, a few splashes of red wine vinegar, about half that amount of juice from the mandarin orange can, the juice of half an orange (and some of the zest), salt, pepper and a dash of meyer lemon olive oil.  I shook the jar vigorously, then added a few glugs of extra virgin olive oil.  I shook the jar again, until everything was emulsified.

My idea was, that after dressing the salad, you could pick up a leaf and eat the salad out of hand.  That didn't really happen.  I ended up cutting mine with a knife and eating pieces of it like a regular salad.  If I had been a bit more miserly with the ingredients, it probably would have worked.  But it still tasted amazing.  I will do this again (probably with the other can of hearts of palm I have in my pantry).

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