Have you ever tried hearts of palm? I don’t think I had even heard of them before the International class of my culinary school curriculum. Heart of palm (also known as palmito) is the core of the stem of a certain type of palm plant. This vegetable has been eaten for thousands of years in South and Central America.
In the United States, they are most commonly sold canned (in my grocery store they are in the canned vegetable aisle near the artichokes). Personally, I would categorize their flavor as a cross between water chestnuts and artichokes. While they can certainly be used in cooked dishes, I mostly like to add them to salads for a little something out of the ordinary.
Speaking of out of the ordinary, how fun are these flat-bottom crispy taco shells? These new Ortega® Fiesta Flats™ remind me of those classic tortilla bowls for taco salad (I loooooovvvveed those things as a kid), except in a much more manageable size. These uniquely shaped taco shells with raised edges really let you pile on the fixings and serve snacks, appetizers and salads in a cute new way.
This fresh Tomato & Hearts of Palm Salad is a simple combination of cherry tomatoes, hearts of palm, jalapeño, red onion, avocado, herbs and a bright lime-paprika dressing. For best flavor, you’ll want to toss the vegetables with the dressing and let the salad stand at room temperature for a few hours (which also gives the lime juice an opportunity to mellow the bite of the onion). Just before serving, fold in the herbs and avocado and pile the salad into the taco shells!
Tomato & Hearts of Palm Salad
- Zest of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 can (14 ounces) whole hearts of palm, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
- 1 package (12 ounces) gourmet medley grape/cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 jalapeño pepper, very thinly sliced
- 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 box (12 shells) Ortega® Fiesta Flats™
- In medium bowl, whisk together lime zest, oil, lime juice, sugar, salt and paprika. Add hearts of palm, tomatoes, jalapeño and onion; toss until well combined. Cover and let stand at room temperature 2 hours.
- To serve, gently fold in avocado, cilantro and basil. Divide salad between taco shells and serve immediately.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ortega. The opinions and text are all mine.