Friday, June 19, 2009

Avocado Palm Salad (2009.23)

W-S puts out some good cookbooks. More than just the recipes, some books give great details about the food, the products, the land, the specialties, etc. W-S Florence is no different. This could very well be a coffee table book due to the gorgeous pictures and many pages of history about the food and culture of Florence, Italy.
This salad allowed me to try something I have never had: hearts of palm. Slightly tangy, mozzerrella stick-looking like things, 15 calories and 2 grams of fiber per 1/3 of cup, great addition to a salad (less sodium than pickles and adds that same tang).
What is a heart of palm you may be wondering? I didn't know either. Behold - the power of the internet: First, Brazil was the main importer, but now Costa Rica reigns supreme in the exportation of hearts of palm. Here is what I found:
Heart of palm, also called palm heart, burglar's thigh, palmito, chonta or swamp cabbage, is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees (notably the coconut (Cocos nucifera), Palmito Juçara (Euterpe edulis), Açaí palm (Euterpe oleracea), sabal (Sabal spp.) and pejibaye (Bactris gasipaes) palms). It is costly because harvesting in the wild kills the tree. Heart of palm is often eaten in a salad, sometimes called "millionaire's salad".
Kroger or Walmart sells the can of tangy sticks for about 2$ a can - but they go a long way! I may even throw some in the panzanella I am making this wknd?

1 avocado, sliced
1 can hearts of palm
lemon juice
red onions

I put some spinach down on the plate, then the avocado and hearts of palm according to the recipe. Then I added the rest because I wanted more of a salad. I also put an egg white omelette down as well for some added protein. I loved the egg white with the avocado - amazing goodness, creamy.
Anyway - this was a good bet for one person! But, I had to throw most of the avocado away since I didn't have any other use for it at the time and they go bad rather quickly.

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