Ensalada Palmito Recipe from Costa Rica with Hearts of Palm and Lettuce

Ensalada Palmito

Ensalada Palmito Recipe from Costa Rica with Hearts of Palm and Lettuce
Region / culture: Costa Rica | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Servings: 4


Ensalada Palmito
Ensalada Palmito

Ensalada Palmito is a refreshing and simple salad that highlights the unique flavor of palm tree hearts of palm. This dish is perfect for a light and healthy meal or as a side dish to complement a main course.


Ensalada Palmito has its origins in Latin American cuisine, where palm tree hearts of palm are a popular ingredient in salads and other dishes. The dish has evolved over time to include various optional ingredients such as tomatoes and sweet peppers.



How to prepare

  1. Cut the heart of palm into small bite-sized pieces and arrange them on plates lined with lettuce.
  2. Squeeze lime juice through a strainer to remove the pulp and seeds, using it sparingly.
  3. Sprinkle a small amount of salt and freshly ground pepper.
  4. The optional ingredients can be added together or individually.
  5. In restaurants, mayonnaise is often used as a substitute for lime, salt, and pepper.


  • Add chopped avocado for a creamy texture.
  • Mix in some cooked quinoa or couscous for added protein and fiber.
  • Top the salad with crumbled feta cheese for a tangy kick.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to cut the palm tree hearts of palm into small, bite-sized pieces for easy eating.

- Use fresh lime juice for a bright and tangy flavor.

- Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste.

- Feel free to customize the salad with additional ingredients like tomatoes and sweet peppers.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Ensalada Palmito as a side dish with grilled chicken or fish for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

This recipe requires no cooking, making it a quick and easy dish to prepare.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use canned hearts of palm if fresh palm tree hearts of palm are not available.

- Substitute lemon juice for lime juice if desired.

Make Ahead Tips

Prepare the salad ingredients ahead of time and assemble just before serving for the freshest taste.

Presentation Ideas

Arrange the salad on a platter and garnish with fresh herbs for a beautiful presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Ensalada Palmito with a crisp white wine or a light beer for a refreshing meal.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Do not reheat.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Calories per serving: 50


Carbohydrates: 5g per serving


Fats: 1g per serving


Proteins: 2g per serving

Vitamins and minerals

Ensalada Palmito is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium.


This recipe may contain eggs if using mayonnaise.


Ensalada Palmito is a low-calorie, nutrient-rich salad that is perfect for a light and healthy meal.


Ensalada Palmito is a simple and delicious salad that showcases the unique flavor of palm tree hearts of palm. With its fresh and tangy taste, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your recipe repertoire.

How did I get this recipe?

It feels like just yesterday when I stumbled upon this recipe for Ensalada Palmito. It was a warm summer day, and I had decided to take a stroll through the bustling streets of my neighborhood. As I passed by a small market, a sweet aroma caught my attention. I followed my nose and found myself standing in front of a vibrant stall adorned with colorful fruits and vegetables.

The vendor, a kind old lady with a warm smile, greeted me and offered me a sample of her Ensalada Palmito. The moment I took a bite, I was transported to a tropical paradise. The flavors danced on my taste buds, and I knew I had to learn how to make this dish myself.

I struck up a conversation with the vendor, and she graciously shared her recipe with me. She explained that Ensalada Palmito is a traditional dish from her homeland, made with heart of palm, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and a zesty dressing of lime juice and olive oil. She also mentioned that the key to a delicious Ensalada Palmito is to use the freshest ingredients possible.

Eager to recreate the magic of that first bite, I rushed home and gathered all the ingredients I needed. I carefully chopped the heart of palm, tomatoes, and onions, taking care to keep the pieces bite-sized. I then mixed them together in a large bowl, adding a generous handful of fresh cilantro for a burst of flavor.

Next, I prepared the dressing by whisking together the juice of several limes with a drizzle of olive oil. I seasoned it with a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper, tasting it carefully to ensure the balance of acidity and richness was just right.

I poured the dressing over the salad and gently tossed everything together, making sure each piece was coated with the zesty flavors. The vibrant colors of the dish reminded me of the market stall where I first tried Ensalada Palmito, and I couldn't wait to taste it again.

As I took my first bite, I was transported back to that sunny day at the market. The crispness of the heart of palm contrasted beautifully with the juicy tomatoes, while the onions added a subtle bite. The cilantro lent a fresh, herbaceous note to the dish, tying all the flavors together in perfect harmony.

I couldn't believe how simple yet delicious this recipe was. It quickly became a staple in my kitchen, a go-to dish for potlucks, family gatherings, and lazy summer evenings. Each time I made it, I would think back to that chance encounter at the market and the kind old lady who had shared her recipe with me.

Over the years, I have made some tweaks to the original recipe, adding my own personal touches and experimenting with different variations. Sometimes I would toss in some avocado for creaminess, or sprinkle in some toasted almonds for crunch. Other times, I would swap out the cilantro for fresh parsley or mint, depending on what I had on hand.

No matter how many times I make Ensalada Palmito, it never fails to transport me back to that sunny day at the market. It's a dish that holds a special place in my heart, a reminder of the power of food to connect us to our past and bring us joy in the present.

As I sit here, enjoying a bowl of Ensalada Palmito on my porch, I can't help but smile at the memories it evokes. This recipe may have come to me by chance, but it has become a cherished part of my culinary repertoire, a reminder of the simple pleasures that can be found in a delicious meal shared with loved ones. And for that, I am truly grateful.


| Costa Rican Recipes | Heart Of Palm Recipes | Lettuce Recipes | Lime Juice Recipes | Lime Recipes | Mayonnaise Recipes | Red Bell Pepper Recipes | Vine Tomato Recipes | Yellow Bell Pepper Recipes |

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