Chef Barry Koslow uses fresh hearts of palm for this salad. (They are sent to him from Hawaii, but you might be able to find them at Whole Foods or Dean & DeLuca.) Substitute jarred, but not canned, hearts of palm for fresh. "Canned hearts of palm have a metallic aftertaste," he says.
Grill note: If the grates of your grill are widely spaced, use a grill basket or pan for the asparagus and hearts of palm to keep them from falling through.
Servings: 6 - 8
- 1 3/4 to 2 pounds asparagus, peeled and woody ends trimmed off
- 6 ounces (not canned) hearts of palm, cut in half lengthwise, then into 1-inch slices
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for sprinkling
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound baby arugula, washed and dried
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 ounces applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1/-8 inch batons and rendered crisp
- 1 1/2 ounces caciotta al tartufo cheese (may substitute aged pecorino cheese), shaved thin
In a large bowl, drizzle the asparagus and hearts of palm lightly with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
If using a gas grill, preheat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area for direct heat. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 4 or 5 seconds.
Grill the asparagus and hearts of palm for 3 to 4 minutes, turning a few times; they should be be al dente. Transfer to a serving platter and set aside.
Place the arugula in a large bowl and squeeze the lemon juice over it. Add the 1/4 cup of oil, the crisped bacon, and salt and pepper to taste; toss well. Arrange the dressed arugula on top of the asparagus and hearts of palm, then garnish with the shaved cheese.
From Mendocino Grille chef Barry Koslow.
Tested by Michael Trimarchi.
Email questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.