So I’ve mentioned Pati before (see Cashew Butter Balls). She has a cooking show called Pati’s Mexican Kitchen. I have to admit, I said I watch her show occasionally, but Tony actually discovered it. Not sure how or why. I was away for the weekend and when I came home, he said, “I found this cooking show I think you’ll really like. She has great recipes. I recorded it for you.” This particular episode featured this Avocado & Hearts of Palm Chopped Salad. The salad is delicious. We make it all the time. She has a lot of great recipes. But, in all honesty, I’m pretty sure it’s not the recipes that keep Tony watching. It’s Pati. She’s adorable and she has this even more adorable accent. She’s always talking about the beautiful “col-ours” of the food. Yep. He’s got the DVR set to record every single episode.
I really do love this salad. It’s easy, tasty and beautiful “col-ours”. The only change I make is instead of using whole pumpkin seeds (they’re not always easy to find) and toasting them, I just throw in a few pepitas. (What’s the difference between pumpkin seeds and pepitas? Pepitas are actually the kernel inside a whole pumpkin seed; so if you were to take the seeds out of your pumpkin at Halloween and shell them, inside you’d find a pepita.)
Avocado & Hearts of Palm Chop Chop Salad
Ensalada de Aguacate y Palmitos
3 ripe Hass avocados, seeded & pulp cut into large chunks
14-ounce can hearts of palm, or about 1 1/3 cups, drained, rinsed and thickly sliced
1 cup corn kernels, from 2 large freshly cooked ears of corn or thawed and cooked from frozen
1 tablespoon red onion, chopped
6 ounces cherry tomatoes, or about 1 cup, whole or halved according to your preference
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted (I substitute pepitas – see note above)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons safflower oil
To make the vinaigrette, pour the vinegar and lime juice in a small bowl. Add the oregano, salt, sugar, and black pepper. Pour the oil in a slow stream, whisking with a whisk or fork to emulsify. The vinaigrette can be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated, just emulsify before using.
(If using pepitas, you can skip this step.) To toast the pumpkin seeds, place them in an already hot, small saute pan set over medium heat. Stir often, being careful that they don’t burn; until you start to hear popping sounds (similar to popcorn) and they being to acquire a nice tan, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, place in a bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, gently mix the avocado chunks, hearts of palm, corn kernels, cherry tomatoes and red onion with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds (or pepitas) and serve.