I am in purge mode:  getting rid of old things, de-cluttering and simplifying.  Having space between the hangers in your closet feels like a breath of fresh air.  In the kitchen, purge mode means digging to the back of your cupboards and using up the things that are gathering dust.  In my pantry, one of those things was a can of hearts of palm

Just my luck… Fine Cooking magazine had an entire spread about hearts of palm in their May issue.  What are hearts of palm, you ask? A quick trip to Wikipedia taught me that heart of palm is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees.  Heart of palm is also called palm heart, palmito, chonta, burglar’s thigh or swamp cabbage.  Hmmm… is it just me or does that list take a very odd turn near the end?  Heart of palm = swamp cabbage?!   Seems more likely an antithesis.

Whatever you call it, the ol’ burglar’s thigh tastes a bit like artichoke and was delicious in this salad alongside the citrus and oil-cured olives.

Arugula with Hearts of Palm, Grapefruit and Oil-cured Olives
Serves 4

1 large Ruby Red grapefruit
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 Tbs. Champagne vinegar
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 hearts of palm, rinsed, halved lengthwise, and cut on a diagonal into 3/4-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup pitted black oil-cured olives, halved lengthwise
7 oz. arugula (preferably bunched), trimmed (about 5 loosely packed cups)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Finely grate 1/2 tsp. zest from the grapefruit; set aside. Slice just enough off the top and bottom of the grapefruit to expose the fruit. Stand the grapefruit on one cut end and slice away all of the peel and white pith. Working over a bowl, cut the segments away from the membranes, letting them fall into the bowl. Then, over another bowl, squeeze the membranes to get any remaining juice. Cut each segment into thirds.

In a small bowl, whisk 2 Tbs. of the reserved grapefruit juice and the zest with the oil, vinegar, rosemary, red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper.In a small bowl, mix the grapefruit segments, hearts of palm, and olives with 2 Tbs. of the dressing.


Toss the arugula and parsley in a large bowl with a generous pinch of salt and 3 Tbs. of the dressing. Divide the arugula among 4 plates, top with the hearts of palm mixture, and drizzle with the remaining dressing, if desired.

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10 Responses to “Arugula with Grapefruit, Oil-cured Olives and Swamp Cabbage”

  1. Dana McCauley Says:

    I’ve never heard those other names for hearts of palm before. Interesting. My mom loves the stuff!

    I’ve been on a Korean salad dressing kick lately: http://danamccauley.wordpress.com/2009/05/14/my-new-salad-dressing-spicy-korean

  2. Preston Says:

    It looks so good and I love grapefruit but unfortunately, I’m not allowed to have it because of the blood pressure medicine I take. :(

  3. jayne Says:

    Strange as it sounds Ive been known to eat hearts of palm right out of the can..it freaks my family out. They will be a little happier when I eat the hearts of palm on a delicious salad like yours!!Figtreeapps

  4. Kristin Says:

    I’ve heard hearts of palm called all the above except swamp cabbage…not an edible description! We use hearts of palm on baked pita pizzas with a sundried tomato pesto! Delish!

  5. EB Says:

    I was watching an old episode of the “Master Chef’s with Julia Child” series and a chef referred to his fresh hearts of palm as ‘swamp cabbage’ and it really stopped me short. I spent the remainder of the show trying to figure out that misnomer. Man I love hearts of plam. But I really hate swamp cabbage.

  6. Sues Says:

    Oooh what an interesting flavor combination! I was just thinking how I need to get more grapefruit in my diet and this is an extra-healthy and delicious way!

  7. Acai Berry Blog Says:

    [...] Arugula Salad with Heart of Palm, Grapefruit & Olives :: Whipped [...]

  8. the simple me » Blog Archive » Simply Delicious: Stupendous Salads Says:

    [...] 4. Arugula with Hearts of Palm, Grapefruit and Oil-cured Olives – a favorite among my friends – Read the recipe: Whipped – Spring the the recipe! [...]

  9. Simply Delicious: Stupendous Salads « Springpad Blog Says:

    [...] of Palm, Grapefruit and Oil-cured Olives – a favorite among my friends – Read the recipe: Whipped – Spring the the [...]

  10. Warren Roemer Says:

    some blodd pressure medicines have nasty side effects so be carfeful with it.”

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