PATI'S MEXICAN TABLE

April 16, 2011 11:30 AM
Avocado & Hearts of Palm Chop Chop Salad
AVOCADO & HEARTS OF PALM CHOP CHOP SALAD
Ensalada de Aguacate y Palmitos
Serves 4 to 6

TO PREPARE
3 ripe Hass avocados, or about 2 pounds, pulp cut into large chunks
14 oz 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 tbsp red onion, chopped
6 oz cherry tomatoes, or about 1 cup, whole or halved according to your preference
Vinaigrette dressing (see below)
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted

Vinaigrette dressing
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp safflower oil

TO PREPARE
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.

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 and place in a bowl.

In a 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 and serve.

The dish can be served as a main salad with a side of toast or pita bread.  Or serve it as a side salad to grilled chicken, fish or meat.