Rio Party Salad

This light salad is simple to prepare and lovely to look at with a flavor that enhances any spicy-hot entrée. I’m especially fond of serving this salad at buffets as an accompaniment to a few different casseroles. You can easily halve this salad for smaller dinners.

2 (1-pound) cans hearts of palm, drained

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

1 teaspoon crushed caribe chile

1 head Boston lettuce

1 head red leaf lettuce

Place hearts of palm and tomatoes in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, and caribe. Pour over tomato mixture and stir gently to coat evenly. Let stand at room temperature throughout the day, stirring often and spooning dressing over vegetables. About 2 hours before serving, cover and refrigerate.

To serve, arrange Boston and red leaf lettuce leaves around edge of a large platter. Carefully place hearts of palm spoke-fashion around the edge, and place tomatoes in the center. Drizzle all with dressing and serve.

Makes 10 servings.

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