Heart of Palm “Ceviche” Salad

Aguachile is a form of ceviche; you know, the dish where they marinate seafood in enough acid that it actually “cooks” it. This dish (adapted from the NY Times, by Jocelyn Ramirez) gives that ceviche treatment to hearts of palm. This is one of those same same but different things. No, you don’t think you’re eating seafood, but the flavor profiles are there and the textures are the same. It’s delicious, gives you Mexican beach vibes, and you don’t have to worry if you did it right (when “wrong” could mean making somebody sick).

[NOTE: This makes a big batch that I cut in half. I also omitted the nori because they didn’t have it at the store and I didn’t need a ton leftover.] First, gently combine 1 (28 oz) can of hearts of palm (sliced), 1/2 red onion (thinly sliced), 1 Persian cucumber (halved lengthwise and thinly sliced), and 1 chopped avocado in a large bowl. Next, purée 4 small serrano chiles (or 1 large jalapeño with ribs/seeds removed as you see fit for spicyness), 1/2 c. chopped cilantro, 1 c. lime juice (from about 12 limes), 1/4 c. olive oil, 5 snack-size nori sheets, and a pinch of salt until smooth. Pour the dressing over the hearts of palm mixture and fold until coated. Marinate in the refrigerator until the onion and cucumber slightly soften, about 15 minutes. Serve right away with tortilla chips (I made my own by baking leftover corn tortillas) but it’ll keep for a day – as I learned when I had the leftovers for lunch the next day.

If you’re looking for a healthier Taco Tuesday side dish, look no further. It was a fun way to mix it up from our normal salad and much easier on the waistline than rice and beans. I am NOT one for raw red onion, but when marinated in all that lime juice, they were far more palatable. It’s also vegan, so this is a great recipe to have in your back pocket if you have to please a dinner guest with dietary restrictions. Now, if only I were on that Mexican beach…