Saturday, June 15, 2013

Tropical Hearts of Palm Salad (Inspired by Paladar Restaurant)

As some of you may know, one of my favorite restaurants in the Annapolis-area is Paladar Restaurant. It has so many fun and exciting Latin items on the menu. Paladar shared with me their amazing sweet potato taco recipe last summer and I make them over and over again. This winter, I was inspired to make Paladar's potato, chorizo, and goat cheese tacos after seeing it on the menu, and they are incredible. I've never had a meal at Paladar that I did not absolutely love!

Yesterday I met a friend for lunch at Paladar, and I ordered the tropical hearts of palm salad and a bowl of gazpacho. I've had the hearts of palm salad many times before, and today I attempted to recreate it in my kitchen. It turned out pretty well - it's not exactly the same, but fairly close. The salad was really easy to make and it is very healthy! For those of you who don't know much about hearts of palm is,  they are a veggie that is harvested from the center of palm trees. How cool is that? I first thought that hearts of palm were the same thing as artichoke hearts, but they are completely different. Hearts of palm are grown in places such as Costa Rica and Ecuador. They are high in potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamin A. This salad also has other really healthy ingredients, like avocado, mango, and black beans. It's tropical tasting, refreshing, and it's filling enough to eat for lunch or even dinner. Enjoy!

Recipe for Tropical Hearts of Palm Salad
1 can of black beans, drained
3 stalks of hearts of palm (from can or jar), sliced 1/8-inch thick
1 very ripe mango, cut into smallish cubes
1 half of a ripe (but not too ripe) banana, cut very thin and then in half
1 Hass avocado, cut into smallish cubes
5 cherry or grape tomatoes, seeds removed and cut into small pieces
Juice of one large lime
1/8 tsp. of coarse sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. of extra-virgin olive oil
6 - 9 tortilla chips, crushed into smallish pieces

Put the beans, hearts of palm, mango, banana, avocado, and tomatoes into a medium-sized bowl. Pour the lime juice over the salad and toss well. Add in the salt and olive oil and toss again. Divide salad amongst 2 - 3 dishes and top each salad with crushed tortilla chips.