Heart of Palm, Jicama, Asparagus, Cabbage, Tangerines, and Maple Sriracha Pecans all in one salad? Yes, it's true. I know that sounds like a motley crew of ingredients but you have to trust me on this one.
I tend to be a play-it-safe kind of gal. It's very easy for me to stay in my comfort zone. However, it is the times that I take blind leaps of faith that yield the best results. When I go running, I have a very specific path that I follow, however, when I decide to take a random route and explore a new place is when I feel most alive. I used to pre-plan every minute of every trip I would ever take, but the decision to sell almost everything I owned and leave for Europe for nearly a year with no concrete plan in mind, was one of the greatest, most life-changing things I ever did. The times I let my imagination go a little wild are when I create some of my favorite things in the kitchen.
I'm going through a bit of a heart of palm obsession of late. I've always loved them, but in the past, I've always forgotten about them. Then one day, they appeared in a salad I had ordered and I was just taken aback. I even texted Chris to say "Why aren't we eating hearts of palm ALL THE TIME?!?!" He couldn't come up with a logical answer for me.
So the obsession began. I bought them by the jar and began to add slices of this heavenly vegetable to everything- salads, sandwiches, stir-fries. I combined a lot of different flavors and textures with heart of palm and this salad is a mixture of my favorite flavor combos. The salty creaminess of the heart of palm pairs well with the sweet crunchiness of jicama. The tangerines brighten up the heart of palm's mild flavor. The roasted asparagus, well, I've had a hard time finding flavors that it doesn't pair well with.
Then there's the Maple Sriracha Pecans. They are the true star of this dish. These roasted pecans are sweet and caramelized with a nice spicy bite in the aftertaste. As much as I adore the heart of palm in this salad, without the pecans, this salad would be a simple yet tasty salad. You would quite enjoy it while eating it, but you likely wouldn't tell your friends about it. After one bite of this salad with the maple sriracha pecans, you will be wanting to tell every stranger you meet on the street about it. Well, that part might just be me, but I trust that you will be excited about it as well. To put it simply, the Maple Sriracha Pecans are what makes this salad go from "Yum" to "Daaaa**! That's what I call a salad!" (Chris's words).
So yes, there is quite the hodge-podge of ingredients in this salad, but it stands as a testament to why I think it's great to get in the kitchen and experiment. Try new (or not-so-new) ingredients. Play with different flavor combinations. Get a little crazy and venture outside of your comfort zone. You'll either learn something new or create something absolutely brilliant.
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked salt (or regular sea salt)
- a few dashes of smoked paprika
- a couple dashes of cayenne pepper
- 2 cups chopped pecans
- salt to taste (optional)
- 12-15 stalk of asparagus, chopped into quarters
- olive oil spray
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups shredded cabbage
- 1/2 bulb of jicama, peeled and chopped into matchsticks
- 6-7 heart of palm stalks, rinsed
- 2 tangerines, peeled and segments removed
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1-2 teaspoons agave syrup
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Prepare the dressing. Combine the sherry vinegar, lemon juice, agave syrup, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Chill until ready to use.
- Combine all of the maple sriracha pecan ingredients (minus the pecans and salt) in a small bowl. Spread the pecans out on the prepared baking sheet. Pour the sauce over the pecans, toss to fully coat and roast for 10 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Remove from the oven, toss with salt (if desired), and set aside to cool.
- While the pecans are in the oven, line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the asparagus out on the baking sheet and lightly spray with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste, toss to fully coat. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, combine the shredded cabbage, hearts of palm, jicama, and tangerines in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss until combined. Divide the salad amongst the serving bowls, top with asparagus and pecans, and serve. Enjoy!
Emily - It Comes Naturally
I am hopeless at stepping outside of my comfort zone! I'm a bit Sheldon (Big Bang Theory) in that respect. I do love to get 'creative' in the kitchen though. I had to google half of those ingredients! jicama, Sriracha and I don't think I've ever bought heart of palm. I'm going to have to keep an eye out for these 🙂
Good luck- I hope you enjoy those ingredients as much as we do!
I love hearts of palm too! I just wish they weren't so expensive! But they are quite delicious!
I know- they are quite expensive. I guess that's what makes them more special when you splurge and get them. 🙂
Gabby @ the veggie nook
I love all the different ingredients in here! It would be a big deal for me to use hearts of palm or jicama but you did BOTH, craziness. I am on a jicama kick lately so this is totally up my alley. I haven't actually made it myself though, had it at my coop and at a restaurant. I need to get on that! And asparagus is always a good idea 🙂
Thank you- come summer, I'm on a constant jicama kick too. It's just so light and refreshing! 🙂
i LOVE hearts of palm! i put them in everything and can never get enough. i wish i knew how to grow them..or something, because they're expensive little things!
the salad looks delicious and the maple sriracha pecans sound like a dream. i just love pecans so much.
and i agree about stepping out of your comfort zone. i have a hard time with it, too, but sometimes i feel like it's necessary to grow 😉
If you figure out how to grow them, let me in on the secret- I would love to have a garden of those things! 🙂
I DO trust you on this one! I am a creature of habit as well but I've recently been cooking more out of cookbooks to combat that, Viva Vegan being one. There's a jicama-carrot salad in there I really want to try and I just made a brazil nut salad with hearts of palm.
I think I'm ready to move on to maple sriracha pecans.
Thank you for piping in- you've totally reminded me that I need to spend some time cooking from my cookbook collection- they definitely are not getting the attention they deserve!
This is so me. Case in point: liking to plan/know my days, but last year quitting my job, waving goodbye to everyone in Australia, and moving to Canada, which I'd never visited before. High five for leaps of faith that lead to the best adventures and amazing growth.
High five, indeed! Good for you, Hannah! 🙂
jodye @ chocolate and chou fleur
Hearts of palm are so great, but I always forget about them, too! This salad looks like the perfect way to put them back into my diet. Plus the maple sriracha pecans sounds amazing just to eat on their own!
Thank you, Jodye! And you hit the nail on the head- these pecans are great enough to eat on their own!
Truth be told I am not very good at stepping outside of my comfort zone, I am very routine driven - I think I am at my best when I have a routine, however I do agree that stepping outside of our comfort zones is good for our souls- for me it is typically getting over a fear (heights, zip lining, roller coasters) and once I do I think back what the heck took me so long- this is great! But I still need a routine- but a routine that is open to change once in a while 🙂
Those nuts so oh so amazing- this is a total game changer in salad making!
Doing something you fear and realizing that there was nothing to fear at all is always such a huge growing experience. Sounds like I need to take a cue from you and finally try zip lining (so freaked out about that!). 😉
I will eat anything with those maple sriracha pecans please. it takes me a while to step out of my comfort zone.. but i do and when i can i love it!
Oh lordy, these pecans! You will love them, Richa!
Being away from your comfort zone never fails you to discover your creativity. Nice post. Look delish. 🙂
Thank you, Jarome!
This is the kind of salad I could eat for lunch for an entire week! It's got everything-sweet, salty, crunchy. Great combinations!
Thank you, Reia! 🙂
Courtney @ The Fig Tree
Yummy! I love hearts of palm in salad. This sounds fantastic. Especially with the maple sriracha pecans. Delicious!
Thank you, Courtney! xo
Bex @ Vegan Sparkles
Oh Dom and I recently tried Jicama for the first time at a Mexican place we went to in Melbourne and fell madly in love with it. I've never tried Heart of Palm so I'll search that one out next! This salad looks and sounds incredible, Kristy - so many delicious textures! No wonder Chris was excited! 🙂 xx
I hope you're able to track down both and try them together! They're such a good combo! 🙂 Much love to you and Dom! xo
Maple Sriracha pecans! I like the way you think. I forget about hearts of palm sometimes too since David isn't the biggest fan. It's generally something I eat on my own, and so it can get forgotten in the cupboard. I need to bring those bad boys out! 🙂