Thanks to everyone who made my scrambled eggs posting the most viewed photo on Tastespotting.com last week and I welcome new readers who found me through that post.
When people find out I have a food blog the first thing they ask is, "How do you have the time?" This question is almost always followed by, "How do you come up with recipes?" The answer to the first question is time management but some weeks are better than others. The answer to the second question is sometimes it is through a fortunate accident but most times, I am inspired by an ingredient, a technique or another recipe.
My plan for this week's post was inspired by a great chicken dish I tried several years ago. I spent the week developing this recipe: spice levels and the cooking technique. I wanted to make dish something that was easy, delicious and accessible. Most times, what I envision and what happens are the same thing. The problem was this week that wasn't the case. First, the spices weren't quite there (not exactly a disaster, but not good enough to post) so it has sent me back to the drawing board and second, we had a cooking accident. We grilled the chicken on the barbecue at the same as we did a duck breast. The duck breast with its thick fatty skin created a dark grey smoke that imparted an unappetizing carbon-tinged colour to the meat. Not exactly the result I had intended.
So instead I offer up this really simple salad that we ate with the chicken last night. This is such a simple thing to put together that calling it a recipe is somewhat misleading. You need recipes for souffles, and cheesecakes but for this little salad? No, it's pretty easy. Think of it as a list of ingredients.
If you plan to serve this on a particular day, remember to purchase the avocado several days in advance. I think the addition of orange segments might be really nice in this salad as well which I will try next time. This salad is a welcome departure from the usual leaf salads that people have come to expect.
Avocado & Hearts Of Palm Salad
Yields 2 large servings
1 ripe avocado (diced) (Click here for a refresher on cutting an avocado)
3 hearts of palm (1 can) - sliced into 1/2cm coins
1/3 c olive oil
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
pinch dried oregano (if you have fresh, use that instead)
1 tbsp of finely chopped parsley
Whisk together and ingredients and set aside.
Toss avocado and hearts of palm together. Drizzle vinaigrette over top and serve.
Updated April 11, 2009: Thanks to a reader for pointing this out... I inadvertedly forgot to include that you should add salt & pepper to taste and a squeeze of lemon to finish.
Apple & Pear Crisp
1 hour ago