Heart of palm (palmito) is perhaps not appreciated enough outside Brazil, but back home people love it in many types of preparations: pies, pastéis, filling for pasta, and in its purest form: “salada de palmito“. Let’s practice those words now, by repeating after me four or five times. Ready? 😉
I’ve always been quite fond of a simple salad along the lines of this one pairing fresh, juicy tomatoes with slices of heart of palm, often adding black olives for color contrast and that boost of brine flavor. But, a few weeks ago Denise, a Brazilian blogger who lives in the US shared her take on salada de palmito, and I knew I had to make it right away. Denise blogs exclusively on Brazilian recipes, so if you want to learn more about my home country cooking, stop by her blog, and enjoy the tropical ride!
HEART OF PALM SALAD SKEWERS
(adapted from Denise’s blog, From Brazil to You)
for the skewers:
6 heart of palm stalks, cut each stalk in half or thirds
8 grape tomatoes
Arugula or spring mix leaves, or any green of your choice
fresh parsley leaves for decoration
for the Lemon-Za’tar Dressing:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon agave nectar
a good pinch of za’tar
salt and pepper to taste
To prepare the salad, assemble 4 salad skewers by inserting and alternating heart of palm chunks, grape tomatoes, salad greens of your choice.
Once skewers are assembled, chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes, covered with a wet paper towel. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together well until obtaining a thick and homogeneous dressing.
Drizzle the heart of palm salad skewers with the dressing, and serve sprinkling parsley leaves on top.
to print the recipe, click here
A little trivia about this post: recipe found on May 14th; enjoyed on May 17th; blogged on July 17th.
Comments: This was such a fun way to serve heart of palm! You can change it around in many ways, adding red onion chunks (like Denise recommends in her post), or black olives, maybe roasted zucchini slices. I can even envision some grilled halloumi cheese, making it a “Brazil meets Greece” version.
The lemony, acidic flavor of za’tar makes it a great addition to salad dressings. I added a touch of agave nectar to mellow things a little, but you should play with this basic vinaigrette idea and change it to suit your taste.
Denise, thanks for keeping Brazilian food always in my mind, every new post brings a smile to my face, and a sense of nostalgia for foods of my childhood.
This post had been scheduled for a while, but just a couple of days before going live, I learned that Denise got a very well-deserved prize: her blog was chosen as one of 50 of the best Mom-blogs! You can read all about it here. Denise, you deserve all the recognition, I am thrilled for you!
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