Monday, August 29, 2011

Recipe for Colorful Tomato Salad with Hearts of Palm, Mint, and Spicy Thai Dressing

Colorful Tomato Salad with Hearts of Palm, Mint, and Spicy Thai Dressing
The spicy Thai dressing and hearts of palm make this colorful tomato salad something special.

It's no secret that I love, love, love Green Zebra tomatoes. I also love Brandywines, which are the other type of tomato I used in this colorful salad along with hearts of palm, mint, and a spicy Thai-inspired dressing.  If you don't happen to have those tomato varieties, you can make this with any type of flavorful fresh tomatoes, but the salad will be prettier if you can get at least two different colors.  Now that my garden tomatoes are finally starting to get ripe I've been looking for new recipes using fresh tomatoes.  The idea for a tomato salad with Asian flavors came from Melissa Clark and I think her salad sounds delightful, but I went off in a slightly different direction when I ended up trying it.  If you like the way Thai foods are a blend of many different flavors, I'm guessing you'll like the spicy dressing on this salad.

I cut the tomatoes into wedges and then let them drain in a colander for about 15 minutes.  (If you've never done this, you'd be amazed how much liquid will drain off.)

I also love hearts of palm, and I knew they were good with tomatoes so I couldn't resist using some in this salad.  If you don't want to buy them, I'd just make the salad with a few more tomatoes.  If you do use them, break the hearts of palm into rings or cut them in half-moon shapes if they don't break apart.

I used about 1/3 cup each of sliced green onions and chopped fresh mint.  Cilantro or Thai basil are two other herbs that would also work.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, add the dressing, and gently stir to coat the salad with dressing.  Serve right away; this doesn't keep more than a couple of hours.

Colorful Tomato Salad with Hearts of Palm, Mint, and Spicy Thai Dressing
(Makes about 4 generous servings, recipe inspired by Southeast Asian Tomato Salad by Melissa Clark.)

Salad Ingredients:
4 cups tomato wedges, preferably a mixture of at least 2 colors of tomatoes (I used Green Zebras and Brandywines)
1 cup thickly-sliced hearts of palm (one 15 oz. can or half of a 25 oz. bottle)
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint (cilantro or Thai basil could also be used)

Dressing Ingredients:
2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 T rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 T fish sauce (preferably Three Crabs Fish Sauce)
1 tsp. Sriracha Sauce (or less if you want it less spicy)
1 tsp. sugar, Splenda, or Stevia In the Raw granulated sweetener (use Splenda or Stevia for South Beach diet)
1/2 tsp. Thai Red Curry Paste (optional, but it's adds a nice complex flavor)
1/2 tsp. garlic puree (from a jar)
1 T grapeseed oil (or peanut oil; do not use olive oil)

Cut tomatoes into wedges and put them in a colander to drain while you prep the other ingredients.  Drain the hearts of palm and slice into thick slices, then break the slices into rings (or cut them into half-moon shapes if they don't break into rings.)  Slice enough green onions to make 1/3 cup.  Wash, dry, and chop fresh mint, cilantro, or Thai basil.

Put the lime juice, rice vinegar, fish sauce, Sriracha, Thai Red Curry Paste, and garlic puree into a glass measuring cup and stir until the curry paste is mixed into the other ingredients, then whisk in the oil.  Taste the dressing and if it seems a bit strong to you, add a tiny bit more oil.

Put all the salad ingredients into a bowl, add the dressing, and stir gently to combine.  Serve right away; this does not stay good for more than a few hours.

South Beach Suggestions:
This salad is loaded with healthful low-glycemic ingredients, and if made with Splenda or Stevia it would be approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet.  This would taste great with something like Grilled Sriracha-Sesame Turkey Meatballs or Soy-Grilled Mahi Mahi with Korean Dipping Sauce

Ten More Salad Ideas with Tomatoes or Hearts of Palm:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Green Goddess Tomato-Mozzarella Stacks from Kalyn's Kitchen
Caprese Salad with Red and Green Tomatoes and Kiwifruit from Kalyn's Kitchen
Hearts of Palm Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta from Kalyn's Kitchen
Tomato, Olive, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Basil Vinaigrette from Kalyn's Kitchen
Vegan Tomato Salad with Cucumber, Avocado, Cilantro, and Lime from Kalyn's Kitchen
Avocado and Hearts of Palm Salad from My Kind of Food
Springtime Hearts of Palm Salad from From Argentina with Love
Palm Heart Cherry Tomato Salad from Weird Combinations
Fresh Heirloom Tomato Salad from White on Rice Couple
Wild Tomato Salad from Real Epicurean
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. Thai is my favorite Asian cuisine. LOVE the dressing - this is now on my Must Try List!

    Cheers ~ Donna

  2. I'm pretty sure I couldn't pick a favorite heirloom tomato...they're all just so good! I love the sound of that Thai dressing. I think it compliments the tomatoes really well!

  3. I love this idea. We have a ton of thai basil in the garden. This will be a great way to use it up.

  4. Donna, I love the Thai flavors too and really liked this.

    Joanne, I know what you mean. There are no *bad* heirloom tomatoes, that's for sure.

    Britt, lucky you. Thai basil just went on my list for next year's garden!

  5. I am getting geared up for soup season now... needed a kick in the pants to remind me that summer salad season is still with us


  6. Love the combination of flavors and textures in this dish.

  7. Dave it's definitely NOT soup season here; still have temps in the high 90s!

    Pam, thanks. It will be a repeater for me, that's for sure.

  8. Brilliant to pair Thai dressing with a tomato salad. Fresh and spicy. So good.

  9. Thanks Karina. Lately I am craving those Thai flavors!

  10. YUM! this sounds great, will try it out with the tomato's from my garden :)

  11. Such a flavorful and colorful tomato stuff. That spicy sting will definitely give a great twist on this salad. I love it.


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