Salmon Salad over Salad Cut Hearts of Palm

Salmon Salad over Salad Cut Hearts of Palm (Serves 2-3)

I’ve been eating salmon salad as often as 3 to 4 meals per week. It is my favorite pairing for the red leaf and butter lettuce I have been getting in my farm basket every Saturday. When I run out of fresh, local, lettuce, I like to eat my salmon salad with hearts of palm.

Hearts of palm is new food for me. My mother certainly never served it and I cannot recall encountering it in a restaurant either. Hearts of palm is a vegetable harvested from the edible cores and buds of palm trees. The flavor is mild and the texture is crisp, yet tender. Palm hearts contain mostly carbohydrates, but a little protein and fat too. They contain moderate amounts of iron, phosphorus, and zinc and are a rich source of potassium. Palm hearts also contain vitamin A as well as folate, or vitamin B-9. I eat them because they taste good and are different. There is a good article at http://www.livestrong.com/article/423626-heart-of-palm-nutrition/ if you want to know more.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 7.5-ounce can of red salmon
1 small sweet yellow onion
1 big dill pickle
1 handful of pickled jalapenos
Dried cranberries (infused with apple juice)
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise (recipe for making it yourself below)
Dried coriander
Garlic powder
Salt
1 can of hearts of palm (packed in water and salt)

Directions:

Add salmon to a mixing bowl. Salmon packed in water should be drained first. Chop onion into bite-sized pieces and add a big handful to bowl. Save the rest in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Chop pickle into small bite-size pieces and add to bowl. Mince jalapenos into small pieces and add to bowl. Add a handful of dried cranberries. Add 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and then mix well. Taste and add salt, garlic powder, and ground coriander as needed to achieve the taste you like. Mix everything together well. Drain can of heart of palms. Cut into bite-size pieces if not already “salad-cut.” Arrange on plate and cover with a serving of salmon salad. Enjoy!

Homemade mayonnaise is surprisingly easy to make and bumps up the flavor of this dish. I learned to make mayonnaise from Melissa Joulwan. She promised me it would be easy and she was right! Don’t accept the soybean oil, sugar, and preservatives of store-bought mayonnaise anymore. Make some homemade yourself. I’ll walk you through it below or you can click here and let Melissa walk you through it.

Homemade Mayo
Ingredients:

1 egg
1/2 teaspoon yellow Jamaican curry (or mustard powder if you are not adventurous)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups olive oil (light, not extra virgin)

Directions:

Place the egg, curry, salt, apple cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup of olive oil in a food processor and whirl until well mixed – 20 to 30 seconds. You can mix by hand in a bowl with a whisk like Julia Childs did in the old days, but that is a lot of work. Now here comes the important part: Drizzle in the last cup of olive oil slowly while you keep running the food processor – as in, take about 3 minutes to drizzle in one cup of oil. Don’t get in a hurry and dump a lot of oil in at once or the mixture can collapse and stop looking like mayonnaise. IF your mayo collapses, all is not lost. Put the mixture in the refrigerator for a few hours and then stir it vigorously. Such “failed” mayo doesn’t look as pretty, but it still tastes good and works fine in tuna salad. Once you are done, transfer your mayo to an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator until needed. Homemade mayo should be good for several weeks.

Melissa Joulwan warns of the importance of starting with all ingredients at room temperature. I have had success using a cold egg, but am mixing with apple cider vinegar and not lemon juice like Melissa. That difference might make a difference.

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