January 9, 2013 15 Comments
January is the month where cookies become “so last year” and lighter fare is all the vogue. All of the New Year’s resolutioners are hitting the gym while noshing on greens and fruits as they seek to sculpt their bodies and create a better version of themselves.
While I am not one to set a New Year’s resolution (though I do look back at the past year and set some goals for myself in the coming year), I too was feeling weighed down from the unrelenting number of cookies I was *forced* to eat the several weeks prior. I had finally woken up from my holiday cookie coma and my body was suddenly craving some nutritious, fresh veggies.
However, with the coolish weather I was also craving something that warmed my belly and after scrounging around my kitchen I found a jar of hearts of palm sitting in my pantry and thought “how would these guys taste sautéed in olive oil?!” When I began salivating at the thought I was certain the result would be awesome and then wondered why preparing them this way had never occurred to me before. You see, I have eaten hearts of palm cold in a salad many times before (I had a lot of it during a vacation in Brazil) and I’ve also puréed it in a hot soup (often with asparagus). But sautéing it? Never even occurred to me.
And now that I’ve done it, I’m over the moon in love with it! I actually wake up in the morning craving it. I’m obsessed, OBSESSED with it. To that, I must offer a word of caution that you may develop a healthy obsession (pun intended) if you too decide to try it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
So now I’m curious. What are your favorite ways to prepare hearts of palm? Is sautéing a new concept to you too? Or perhaps hearts of palm are a new food altogether?
As for how I put this delicious salad together; you first need to blend all of the dressing ingredients in a small food processor or blender until smooth.
Wash and then chop your romaine and butter lettuce into bite size pieces. Cut your hearts of palm and olives into thin slices and then halve your grape tomatoes lengthwise.
In a medium sauté pan, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat and then add the hearts of palm slices in a single layer. Sauté until the bottom becomes brown and slightly crisp. Turn over and do the same to the other side. Also, I periodically prodded and moved each slice to make sure that it wasn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan while they were cooking.
Then cut each slice in half and set aside.
Heat the other tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in the same sauté pan and add the olives and tomatoes cut-side down.
Cook until the tomatoes start to brown and become slightly crisp and then set them aside.
Place the lettuce in a large bowl and add several tablespoons of dressing. With your super clean hands, toss the dressing with the lettuce until each piece is evenly coated. Distribute the lettuce evenly between two large salad bowls and then top each bowl with the tomatoes, olives, and hearts of palm. Add a sprinkle of black sesame seeds on top.
Sautéed Hearts of Palm and Tomato Salad
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon capers
- 4 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups romaine lettuce, rinsed and chopped
- 3 cups butter lettuce, rinsed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4-5 hearts of palm sticks, sliced
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
- 6 pitted kalamata olives, sliced
- black sesame seeds
- freshly ground black pepper
Dressing: Place all dressing ingredients in a blender or small food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside while you prepare the veggies.
Sauté Veggies: Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the hearts of palm in a single layer and sauté for several minutes until they start to brown on the bottom. Make sure to keep moving them around every so often while cooking to prevent them from sticking to the pan. When they’ve browned on the bottom, flip them over and sauté until the other side begins to crisp and is just as brown. Remove from the heat and cut the slices in half. Set aside. Heat the other tablespoon of oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Then place the sliced tomatoes face down and add the olive slices. Sauté until the underside of the tomatoes begin to brown. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Assemble: Place the romaine and butter lettuce in a large bowl. Add several tablespoons of the reserved dressing and toss to coat all leaves evenly. Distribute the lettuce into two separate bowls. Top each with the sautéed tomatoes, olives, and hearts of palm. Lastly, sprinkle with black sesame seeds and freshly ground black pepper.