Monday, April 13, 2009

Hearts of Palm Salad

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans eat 177 eggs a year (not counting the 70ish eggs from processed foods). Chances are a good number of that total get eaten right after Easter, so the Census Bureau has dubbed this upcoming week Egg Salad Week.

In honor of that, but not going for a straight-up egg salad, I offer this lighter salad of hearts of palm, peas and radishes. The dressing is a sort of lime mayonnaise made with the yolks of hard-boiled eggs, lime juice, olive oil and a touch of sesame oil.

Hearts of Palm Salad
Heart of palm is the inner core of very young palm trees, including coconut palms and açaí palms. Though palm hearts were once harvested in the wild, making them quite a luxury since the process killed the trees, domesticated palm trees are now grown specifically for the purpose of giving up their hearts. (Awwww.)

2 cans (14 ounces each) hearts of palm, thinly sliced (3 cups)
1-1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
1/2 cup julienned radishes (5 to 6)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
2 large eggs, hard-boiled
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1. In a large bowl, combine the hearts of palm, peas, radishes and cilantro.
2. Peel the eggs and place the yolks in a small bowl. Chop the whites and add to the bowl with the vegetables.
3. Add the lime juice, salt and pepper to the yolks and mash together with a fork. Whisk in the olive oil and sesame oil until well emulsified.
4. Add the dressing to the salad and toss gently.

Makes 8 servings

1 comment:

  1. Nowadays, I think all hearts of palm are canned, at least in the USA. But being an oldish person with a fairly decent memory, especially for things food, I do remember eating at a restaurant called Cap's Place which was on a barge of some sort off Hillsborough Inlet north of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. You had to ride in an outboard motor boat to get there. I was small, and the ride across the water, especially on the way back when it was dark, seemed long and dangerous. It was probably not that. In any event, Cap was way ahead of his time. He served fresh and local foods from Florida! Including fresh, mind you FRESH hearts of palm. I was only 6 or 7 but I still remember how good they were. My parents told me it was the only place you could get this, because the trees had to be cut down to get the hearts and Florida had outlawed this. Cap, it was told, had his own "plantation" "in land" which was wild territory in those days. Cap didn't believe in desert, and it wasn't local to Florida (I guess he had not ventured south to locate Key Lime Pie) so the only "sweet" on the menu was sea grape jelly, served with biscuits.