Exotic Jersey Tomato Salad Recipe

I'm just back from a whirlwind trip to San Diego and Pasadena, part business and part mini-vacation. More about that later, because I first want to share with you a great recipe while my readers in New Jersey and nearby areas can still get fresh, ripe tomatoes. This was a salad I nearly swooned over at the Red Pearl Kitchen in the Gas Lamp District of San Diego. And it's soooo simple, just three ingredients. Here's my version, for two people:
  •     One-half can of hearts of palm, salad cut (reserve liquid)
  •     One ripe avocado cut into large chunks
  •     One tomato cut into large chunks (two tomatoes, if it's summer and they're Jersey tomatoes)
  •     Light Olive Oil (mixed with truffle oil for the adventurous)
  •     Salt, pepper, and herbs to taste
You can also add a squirt of lemon or lime juice.

Mix the palm hearts, avocado, and tomatoes together and season to taste. Mix in with half the palm liquid and about two tablespoons of olive oil. This gives you a rather wet dressing. If you prefer something drier, cut back on the palm liquid and, possibly, the oil.

The restaurant used cilantro and another herb that I couldn't identify. I dislike cilantro, so I substituted basil. Go light on the truffle oil; use no more than a teaspoon in two tablespoons of olive oil. Aside from being very expensive, it can be overpowering, as well. If you go for the truffle oil, leave off the herbs – it would just be too much.

This salad goes great with everything: Chicken, steak, pork, shrimp, etc. Minus the tomatoes and plus butter and more oil, we've also used it with as a pasta sauce.


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