Grilled Hearts of Palm Salad

August 8, 2014

This grilled hearts of palm salad with grapefruit and avocado is vegan and gluten-free, and is an elegant dish to serve for lunch or dinner.

This delicious grilled hearts of palm salad with grapefruit and avocado comes from the Straight From The Earth cookbook.

This beautiful book has become my favorite vegan cookbook right now, because of the simple, fresh recipes. I also just love anything created by Earthbound Farm. From their humble beginnings as a 2 1/2 acre raspberry field to now growing and distributing organic produce nationally co-founder Myra and her daughter Marea share their favorite plant based recipes, and you can feel the love in every page, highlighted with stunning photography by Sara Remington.

About this grilled hearts of palm salad, Marea says, “When my dad and I were in Argentina a few years ago, we made the most amazing culinary discovery: grilled hearts of palm. Resting on a bed of fresh, peppery wild arugula, the warm, savory hearts of palm lit up our taste buds. This salad is my attempt to re-create that experience. Served with a delicate orange and olive oil vinaigrette and topped with grapefruit and avocado, these grilled hearts of palm are well supported by many vibrant flavors.”

What I love about this book is the commitment to mindful living, and using fresh ingredients with intriguing flavor combinations. Recipes are grouped for easy browsing by breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Some of my breakfast favorites include: pecan, pumpkin seed, and currant granola, blueberry cormeal pancakes, tofu-veggie scramble, and there are some awesome smoothies. I love the super easy soups, with recipes for easy vegetable stock, rustic potato-leek soup with garlic croutons, butternut squash with hazelnuts, hearty beet soup, Thai coconut soup, and spicy cucumber-ginger gazpacho. There are some delightful appetizers: Thai fresh spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce, shiitake mushroom, water chestnut and tofu lettuce cups, chipotle-lime brazil nuts; and fabulous entree ideas such as four bean and sweet potato chili with skillet corn bread, grilled fig sandwiches with roasted pistachio pesto and balsamic caramelized onions, and seared polenta with spicy heirloom tomato sauce.

I’m always on the look out for awesome vegetable side dishes to serve at parties, and there are some great options in this book. Try the country mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, acorn squash with crispy maple pumpkin seeds, miso-roasted eggplant, and garlicky Brussels sprouts and carrots! Yum! And yes! There are delectable desserts: pomegranate roasted pears, peach-basil-lime sorbet, baklava, ginger, molasses, and raisin, and almond biscotti. But, my favorite section in the book is the salads. I really enjoyed the Belgian endive, persimmon, and hazelnut salad, the red leaf, jicama, and orange salad with citrus-sesame –soy vinaigrette, and absolutely loved this grilled hearts of palm salad with grapefruit and avocado. It is just so light and fresh in the hot weather.

There are incredible recipes in this book. But, there’s also great information about plant-base living. Myra and Marea share their practical and personal reasons to go vegan, and 12 reasons to choose organic foods. There is a glossary for commonly used ingredients: great sections on soy, nuts, seeds, and seeds, beans, lentils and peas, grains, and coconut, and a wonderful kitchen tips section. I also love the full life cycle greenhouse gas emissions chart for common foods.

One of the best features of this book is the menu section, which makes planning for plant-based diners are breeze. There are eleven themed menus for thanksgiving, valentine’s day, super bowl, kid-friendly, Asian-inspired, Middle Eastern spread, Italian, and more.

Make this grilled hearts of palm salad, and check out the Straight From The Earth cookbook. It’s amazing.


Grilled Hearts of Palm Salad

This grilled hearts of palm salad with grapefruit and avocado is vegan and gluten-free, and is an elegant dish to serve for lunch or dinner.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Tess Masters




  • 1 (14oz/400g) can or jar whole hearts of palm
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 oz (140g) baby arugula
  • 1 large ruby red grapefruit, segmented (see notes)
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced


  1. To make the vinaigrette, combine the oil, vinegar, agave, zest, salt, and pepper in a small jar. Seal the lid tightly and shake vigorously until emulsified. Taste, and add more agave if desired. Shake vigorously once more, then set aside at room temperature.
  2. To make the salad, cut each of the hearts of palm in half lengthwise. Let them dry, flat-side down, on a paper towel.
  3. In the meantime, place a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. With a pastry brush, spread 1 tablespoon of the oil over the pan. When the pan is hot, carefully arrange the hearts of palm, flat-side down, so that the ribs are perpendicular to the ridges. With a pastry brush, brush the tops of the hearts of palm with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Cook until the grill marks are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the hearts gently with tongs, or turn off the grill and let it cool for a few minutes. 
  4. Toss the arugula with 1/3 cup (75 ml) of the vinaigrette. Add more if desired. Divide the arugula evenly among four salad plates. Arrange a quarter of the grapefruit segments, avocado, and hearts of palm on each of the plates. Drizzle with some of the remaining dressing, and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

To segment citrus fruit, cut the top and bottom ends off of the fruit so that it can stand level on your cutting surface. With a sharp knife, cut downward, following the contour of the fruit, removing the peel and the pith. Then, slice between each white membrane of the fruit to release the flesh in segments, discarding the tough membrane.

Recipe from Straight From The Earth by Myra and Marea Goodman, published by Chronicle Books.
Photo by Trent Lanz; styling by Alicia Buszczak