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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hearts of Palm salad with sliced steak

Hearts of Palm is this interesting ingredient that first became popular in the 1960s. It used to be served in chic restaurants and was the 'it' food for awhile (the edamame bean of its time). For the unfamiliar, a brief description below from Wikipedia:

"Heart of palm, also called palm heart, palmito, burglar's thigh, chonta, palm cabbage 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 the "millionaire's salad."

It's actually not that expensive anymore and they have cultivated a genus that can have stems harvested but keep the tree alive. $5 will get you a can which is enough to make a salad for about 4 people.

I first heard someone mention hearts of palm salad on Mad Men, and thought I would like to try it. It's taste is kind of like a bamboo shoot mixed with an artichoke heart. Pickly and delicious.

Steak and salad were made for each other, so here is a little recipe for them together:

Steak and Hearts of Palm Salad
1 steak
1 bunch arugula
1 mandarin orange
1 can hearts of palm
pomegranate seeds to taste
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp dijon mustard

Season steak with salt and pepper and leave to sit for 30-60 mins. Wash and drain arugula. Add orange segments, cut in half. Add minced shallot. Slice hearts of palm in either strips or coins and add. Add pomegranate seeds if using. In a small bowl add two good glugs of extra virgin olive oil, the dijon, salt and pepper and pour into the salad, mix with tongs.

Grill steak for an average of 4 mins on each side, flipping once. Add a few tbsps of dark soy sauce if you want to try a saltier version. Remove from heat once steak reaches desired doneness, slice into strips. Serve alongside or on top of salad.


I used to be pants-shittingly terrified of rare meat, convinced by my relatives that I could never cook a steak that would meet food safety requirements. When I moved out they gave me 3 fire extinguishers. I'm pleased to say that not only have I never killed anyone with my cooking, I have ALSO never set anything on fire. So there, fuckers. So now that I have some experience, a good medium-medium rare steak is easy to make and I think the most flavourful.

MMMMMMMMMMM, you know?

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