I was pretty excited to post about this salad, but then on Monday night in Salt Lake City, I had the best salad of recent memory (at Bambara, recently voted the best restaurant and best chef of SLC). It was a roasted beet salad, which isn’t really noteworthy on its own – I mean, come on, everyone and their brother has a beet salad on the menu these days – but the dish was striking in that each and every element was perfectly executed. The red and yellow beets were impeccably roasted, the goat cheese was beyond creamy and decadent, the greens were fresh, the blood orange vinaigrette was really nicely seasoned (and the salad wasn’t dripping with it), the orange supremes were a delicious citrusy touch, and the toasted hazelnuts on top delivered a much-appreciated crunch and nuttiness. The salad was also beautifully plated, which I’ve come to appreciate even more after attending a recent food styling workshop. Anyway, it was quite impressive, especially since I don’t normally get excited about restaurant salads.
Back to MY salad…I made this a couple of weeks ago, when I saw avocados on sale and was determined to find a way to use them. The dish isn’t a culinary inspiration like my salad at Bambara, but it’s a satisfying and healthy meal (and definitely substantial enough to serve as a main-course dinner, as it did for me). The crunch of the hearts of palm balances out the soft avocados and grapefruit, and the flavors are nice and balanced (though my hubs said he wanted some sort of spicy element in the dish). It’s easy to make and tasty to eat, so give it a go!
Cut ends from grapefruit. Slice off rind and white pith by cutting from top to bottom of fruit. Holding grapefruit over bowl to catch juices, cut between membrane and pulp of each segment. Set aside segments and transfer 3 tablespoons juice to large bowl.
Add orange zest, orange juice, shallots, and cumin to large bowl with grapefruit juice. Slowly whisk in oil until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Season shrimp with salt and pepper and saute in olive oil over medium high heat. They cook quickly, so pay attention!
Add shrimp, hearts of palm, avocado, grapefruit sections, and lettuce to bowl with dressing and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange salad on individual plates and top with remaining ingredients.