Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Bounty from the Bark of a Tree

I love to cook and will happily slave over a hot stove in fall and winter. 


Courtesy of Heather Stillufsen

But summer is my time for a big KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid.) – easy recipes, casual dining with friends and lots of chilled Prosecco. 

It was a hot Friday afternoon and I was expecting my friend Anna and her husband.  We were going to Haddonfield to shop, then back to my house for some light bites and bubbly to cool us off while waiting for my husband to come home from work (Anna’s husband loves shopping; mine hates it!!).  Then we were off to the Country Club for dinner. 

An hour before they arrived, I threw together one of my favorite easy hors d’oeuvres whose main ingredient comes from the bark of a palm tree.  No kidding! 

 

 

Hearts of Palm (coeurs de palmier in French) is classified as a vegetable and comes from the inner core of certain species of palm trees.  While most fresh Hearts of Palm come from Costa Rica, they can be found canned or bottled in almost any grocery store these days. 

 





Not only are they delicious and versatile, but they are loaded with nutrients and high in fiber and protein.  They are a welcome addition to vegan diets, but you don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy them.  The taste reminds me of my all time favorite vegetable, artichokes, and, like artichoke hearts, they can be marinated, wrapped, stuffed, tossed in a salad or served on their own sprinkled with a good vinaigrette and fresh herbs. 

So how did I serve them to my guests? 

I simply cut them into bite-sized pieces, wrapped them in prosciutto, stuck toothpicks in them and served them with a good grainy mustard for dipping.  Nothing could be easier. 



 


I added a dish of peanuts, pored some Prosecco and voilà the perfect recipe for a lazy, easy summer afternoon with friends.  








The same recipe can be dressed up a bit as an appetizer for a summer dinner.  Just marinate the hearts of palm first in your favorite vinaigrette and then wrap them in prosciutto and sprinkle with a fresh herb before serving (see Revel and Feast).  Delicious! 







As an appetizer for a winter dinner, they are delicious wrapped in bacon.  Just follow this great recipe from Easy and Delish.  You really can’t go wrong with these little beauties. 






Courtesy of Wine Folly

In winter I switch from Prosecco to Champagne for apéritifs and, if I serve Hearts of Palm as an appetizer for dinner, I will serve the Champagne with some simple nuts (usually pistachios) and a dish of marinated olives. 







You can buy marinated olives at most grocery stores, but they are so simple to make.  Here’s a great recipe from Revel and Feast you should try. 

So keep a can of Hears of Palm in your pantry and the next time you have unexpected company and need a quick and easy hors d’oeuvres that your guests will love, grab that can and give it a nice big summer KISS. 




14 comments:

  1. Marie-Therese, I always enjoy reading your posts, and admire your confident and carefree attitude toward life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Jo, Excuse the tardy reply to your Comment, which actually made me think about how I am perceived by my Blog readers -- confident and carefree. I think if you live long enough you get really good at honestly evaluating your strengths and your weaknesses, which I do believe is the basis of being (at least appearing) confident. As for carefree, I do have my moments of stress (just ask my husband), but, again, if you live long enough, you learn how to simplify things and not to "sweat the small stuff." As for the big stuff, well I do my best and, as Mme Mère used to say, "Kiss the rest up to God."

      Thanks for stopping by, Jo.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  2. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    Never heard your version of KISS but Pieter learned at the Campbell World Headquarters in the 80s about KISS as Keep it Sweet & Simple. Love that saying better.
    Love palm hearts and yes, like bamboo shoots they are very high in fiber, the only negative is that they are very bigh in sodium.
    Sending you hugs,
    Mariette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ma chère Mariette,

      I think everyone has a KISS version. Yours is much sweeter than mine, which is a big saltier. While we are on the subject of salt, you are right about Hearts of Palm being high in sodium, particularly wrapped in Prosciutto, but I think they have reevaluated the levels of acceptable sodium in your system, at least that's what I read recently. Of course, if you have a medical reason to avoid salt, that's an entirely different kettle of unsalted fish.

      Cheers, my friend,

      M-T

      Delete
  3. Comment sent by my friend Anna:

    "Thanks. So bored with cheese and crackers that I am served everywhere and expected to serve. Will stock up on hearts of palm tomorrow."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Always a good idea, Anna. A well-stocked larder always makes life easier, particularly for those last-minute guests.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  4. Hello Marie-Thérèse - I enjoyed your post very much - The recipes sound very good - Love easy food in the summer - Prosecco, nuts, olives and figs are my favorite on hot and sunny afternoons - Have a great summer - We will take it easy and one at the time... Hugs Rose

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    Replies
    1. Hello, dear Florida Rose,

      I agree. The easier the better in the summer. That's what enjoying summer is all about. Love the idea of adding figs to the lazy summer afternoon. Will do that!

      Have a wonderful rest of the summer, Rose

      Big hugs from a hot and steamy east coast,

      M-T

      Delete
  5. Such a special treat to have you and your delightful friends in for a champagne visit, M-T. Merci!
    J’adore hearts of palm., but have never tried them with prosciutto....mmmm. Guess what’s on our menu for this evening? KISS KISS, ma cherie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your lovely comment. Absolutely give them a try. You won't be disappointed. Let me know.

      KISS, KISS to you, too.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  6. Looks tasty and I must confess I've never eaten Hearts of Palm. How did that happen? The next time I'm at the supermarket, I'll look for a can.

    I'm lucky that my hairstylist comes to my home. Last week after her salon work, she came by to cut my hair. We had wine and cheese. I offered Champagne but since neither of us are big drinkers, we thought to save it for when she stops in and has more time, not just drinking a glass each. The olives would have been delicious too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are such an excellent cook, judging by your Blog, that I really think you will enjoy have Hearts of Palm handy.

      Wow!! A hairstylist who makes house calls!!! How lucky are you!!! Next time you want to chill out w/some champagne or prosecco, tell him/her to bring the shampoo girls from the salon to help finish the bottle (LOL).

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
    2. Oh thanks! My mother was a pretty good cook and I was greatly influenced by Jamie Oliver, who believes in eating homemade, unprocessed meals. He got me to realize cooking at home doesn’t have to take lots of time. If one keeps some stables in the pantry, you can whip up quick heathy meals. I may cook a bit more than the average Manhattanite, although I’ve also crossed paths with some mighty fine cooks here too. Can be fun.

      Delete

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