This salad is about to knock your socks off! I know that it may be October, and we all have comfort food, cozy soups and crock pot dishes on our minds. I hear ya! But I still like to have something fresh once in awhile too. This Cucumber and Hearts of Palm Salad fits the bill! Made with tasty canned hearts of palm, creamy avocado, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers, all in a simple dressing, this palmito salad is simple but delicious. You will love enjoying it right away, and then sneaking back to fridge throughout the day to grab another bite!
- english cucumber
- extra virgin olive oil
- canned whole hearts of palm
- red onion
- cherry tomatoes
- red wine vinegar
How to make hearts of palm salad
To a mixing bowl, add large diced cucumber, halved tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, avocado in chunks, and hearts of palm that has been sliced into ½ inch thick circles.
Place in a bowl and add chopped basil and dressing ingredients including red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
Stir to combine and serve immediately.
I love salads without lettuce like this. Everything is cut up into similarly sized pieces and there is a lot of freedom to try all different combinations. Some other veggies that would go well in this salad with hearts of palm are shallot, garlic, artichoke hearts, red bell pepper, kalamata olives, and capers. If you don't like the taste of basil, dill or parsley would work as good alternatives.
What are hearts of palm?
Hearts of palm come from the inner part, or core, of the palm tree. Hearts of palm are rarely eaten fresh. They are white in color and are found in the form of chubby sticks and look almost like a string cheese. You can find them in the canned foods aisle and they come either whole or sliced. I prefer to buy mine whole, as I often find they are better taste and texture that way. My favorite brand of hearts of palm is actual from Trader Joes! They are great quality, a good price, and taste wonderful. Loads of brands sell hearts of palm like Reese, Goya, Roland, and Native Forest.
The texture of hearts of palm is quite soft and creamy. And the flavor resembles that of a canned artichoke heart. They are high in fiber and protein, and low in fat.
Where do hearts of palm originate?
Because hearts of palm come from the in core of the palm tree, they originate from warm climates where palm trees grow like the Amazon (Brazil and Peru) and Costa Rica. Hearts of palm is known as palmito in spanish and it also goes by other names such as palm cabbage, palm hearts, chonta, and swamp cabbage.
There is some dispute about whether hearts of palm are ethical to eat. In order to harvest the core of the palm tree, the entire tree is cut down. There are some varieties of palm tree that grow back in just 2-3 years, and there is a push to use those when harvesting hearts of palm.
Cucumber Salad with Hearts of Palm
Jarred hearts of palm are creamy, salty, and slightly tangy. I love how the fresh cucumber offsets the flavor with its crisp texture and wateriness. In this hearts of palm salad avocado adds more creaminess and a bit of healthy fat to make this salad more filling. I also love how the red onions start to get a little pickled after the palmito salad sits for a little while. The flavor is just too good.
Other canned hearts of palm recipes
Hearts of palm are an underutilized ingredient that is actually quite versatile. Hearts of palm are often used as vegan substitutes for seafood like crab and lobster. When used in dishes like like lobster rolls and crab cakes, the salty taste and soft texture of hearts of palm mimic seafood very well!
Cucumber Salad with Hearts of Palm
- 1 english cucumber
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 15 oz. can whole hearts of palm
- ¼ cup red onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 avocado cubed
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup basil chiffonade
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- To a mixing bowl, add large diced cucumber, halved tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, avocado in chunks, and hearts of palm that has been sliced into ½ inch thick circles.
- Place in a bowl and add chopped basil and dressing ingredients including red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Stir to combine and serve immediately.