Tuesday, August 7

celebrate: brazilian heart of palm & avocado salad

My next foray into Brazilian cuisine is a salad packed with healthy ingredients: heart of palm, avocado, tomatoes, and olive oil.

What is Heart of Palm?
Heart of Palm is considered a vegetable; it's harvested from the inner core and bud of palm trees.  Brazil was  once one of the highest producers of heart of palm.  Heart of palm is sold in cans; in my grocery store it is sold near artichoke hearts, pimientos, olives, and other briny canned foods, and in the international aisle.  The texture is slightly fibrous and the taste is similar to canned artichoke hearts.  Heart of palm is very high in sodium, but low in cholesterol, fat, and calories, and a good source of protein, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin c, folate, and calcium.

Beyond the Aisle: Heart of Palm & Avocado Salad

The Salad:  Brazilian Heart of Palm and Avocado - Serves 4
Adapted from Hearts of Palm Salad from AllEasyRecipes.com

- 1 bagged salad or 1 small head lettuce, washed and chopped
- 1 can hearts of palm, drained and chopped into ¼-inch slices
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced (here are Real Simple's directions for dicing an avocado)
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- Fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1.  In a large salad bowl, combine lettuce, chopped hearts of palm, and diced avocado.  Add chopped tomatoes and basil.

2.  Mix olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  
Bonus points if you use an adorably tiny whisk.

3.  Pour dressing over salad and toss.

Enjoy, perhaps with tropical limeade to drink!

- Keep the dressing on the side if you plan on saving some salad for later.
- If you plan on taking this salad for lunch, leave the dressing on the side (I like these BPA-free Rubbermaid containers) AND leave out the avocado - take a whole avocado and knife or avocado tool.

Suggested Variations:
- Sub in black olives or artichoke hearts instead of heart of palm.
- Add another avocado if you are an avocado addict like I am.
- Add a splash of orange juice to the dressing to counteract the briny flavor of the heart of palm.
- Add dried basil to the dressing if you don't have access to fresh herbs.
- Add protein - pine nuts, tuna, or grilled chicken would be yummy.


Additional Sources: Wikipedia, SELF Nutrition Data


  1. Very nice blog. I am following you now. Please drop by to Carole's Chatter and check it out. You might like my Food on Friday series which focuses on a different ingredient. This week it was Berries and Currants. If you like my blog it would be great if you followed me back. Have a good week.

    1. Thanks Carole! Your Food on Friday series sounds so creative and I will certainly be stopping by soon :)

    2. Thanks for linking in. Which way are you using to follow?

    3. Carole, I am following your blog with Google Friend Connect!

  2. Oh my goodness, you had me at avocado! This is something I would LOVE to try. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe with my readers.

    Warmly, Michelle

  3. Hi Heather, so happy to find this recipe! I am from Brazil and luv palmitos (hearts of palm in Portuguese). We are having some people over for a casual bbq tomorrow after church and this will be a really nice addition to our menu :-)