This is a very typical salad enjoyed in South America, especially Costa Rica. Hearts of palm are high in protein which provide a decent boost of energy. They also contain a specialized family of carbohydrates that promote digestive health and fight constipation. Combined with additional veggies and protein, it is a refreshing salad that your family will request again and again.


• 1 (14 ounce) can hearts of palm, drained & rinsed
• 2 medium tomatoes, seeded & chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 small red onions, sliced thin
• 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• salt and pepper to taste
• 8 ounce bag fresh spinach
• 1 pound jumbo scallops
• Shredded parmesan cheese (optional)


1. Chop the necessary ingredients including hearts of palm which should be cut into ½ inch pieces.
2. Combine hearts of palm tomatoes, garlic, basil and red onion.
3. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and mix again.  
4. Set aside for 30 minutes to let flavors marinate.
5. In a large bowl (or 4 individual plates), place spinach leaves and layer with palm salad mixture.
6. Top with scallops and parmesan cheese.

To prepare scallops, lightly season with salt and pepper and add to skillet with hot olive oil and thinly sliced garlic.  Sear on both sides until golden brown.  

Serves 4.

Elizabeth Carrion, a Dominican, co-founded Mi Cocina, a New Jersey-based catering service that also offers cooking classes, with her sister, Ana Martinez. Follow her on Twitter: @micocinalatina and visit her website

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