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.