Monday, February 12, 2007

"Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder"

Vegetable Love

I was so glad that Susan came up with this idea to showcase lovely, healthy, vegetable-filled goodies for Valentine's day. This gave me a chance to come up with some recipes that Daiku and I could enjoy tonight, since we will be apart on the actual holiday! (I have to go to a conference in New York City this week. Booo) Click on Susan's blog, Fatfree Vegan Kitchen, to see other bloggers' contributions to this event.

I decided to play on the theme of "hearts" and "absence"--i.e. vegetables that we don't get to enjoy that often, and came up with these 2 dishes.

Vegan Ceviche

Pre-vegan, one of my all-time favorite meals was ceviche, a Latin American dish made of fish or seafood "cooked" using acid such as citrus juice. I noticed that hearts of palm, when sliced, bear a striking visual and textural resemblance to calamari! Try this refreshing and heart-healthy ceviche for a taste and texture experience.


1 avocado, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lime
3-4 stalks canned hearts of palm, sliced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
large handful cilantro, chopped
1 TB dulse, finely chopped (optional)
salt and pepper to taste


Toss all ingredients together and marinate for a few hours. Serve cold, garnished with slices of lime and cilantro leaves.

* * *

Heart of palm and artichoke heart salad with blackberry balsamic syrup

So many hearts! Add to that the red of the lettuce and blood orange, and the heart-healthy boost from blackberries, and you have got one lovely salad!


5-6 large red lettuce leaves
4-5 canned artichoke hearts, cut in half
2-3 stalks canned hearts of palm, sliced
1 blood orange, peeled and sectioned, juice reserved


1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup frozen blackberries, thawed
reserved juice of blood orange
honey or agave nectar to taste


To make dressing, heat balsamic vinegar over low heat until reduced by half. Different vinegars will vary in how long they take, but your final result should coat your spoon. Stir constantly, be careful not to let the vinegar burn. Take off heat.

Puree blackberries in a blender, and strain juice into vinegar.

Add reserved orange juice and stir. Turn heat back on low, and stir ingredients until combined. If it is too tart for your taste, add a little honey or agave nectar to taste.

Arrange lettuce leaves, add hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, blood orange segments, and drizzle with dressing.

These two dishes, along with some potato salad, comprise our dinner tonight. Tomorrow, I'm off to New York for a week. I will be back to blogging by this weekend.

Enjoy! Have a great V-day, everyone.



scottishvegan said...

That’s a shame that you won’t be with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day, but at least you have had a lovely meal together to celebrate already! Your theme is great...I love the fact that your hearts aren’t actually heart shapes...very clever!! I’ve never eaten ceviche or hearts of palm but this looks lovely! Your salad sounds delicious too, especially the blackberry balsamic syrup. Sounds like an unusual but very tasty combination! Hope your week in NY is fun and not too much work!!!

Susan Voisin said...

These look wonderful! Thanks so much for participating in the challenge. Sorry you have to be away on V-day but hope you have fun in NY.

aTxVegn said...

I love hearts of palm and your creative dishes look wonderful! Great job, Bazu!

Judy said...

Your v-day meal sounds great. I will be dining on Subway, alone, before class. Boo.

There should be some sort of award for veganizing particularly tricky foods, and you should win for veganizing ceviche. Totally amazing.

Carrie™ said...

What a stunning dish! "Hearts" of palm and "Blood" Oranges. Was that planned? Happy Valentine's Day!
Enjoy NYC & have fun meeting Sarah. She's very good about having photos taken, so get a good one & post it. Tell her all her fans say hello!!

Emmy said...

Awww, what a bummer you and Daiku won't be together on V-day. The food looks wonderful. I'm always impressed by your interesting and yummy recipes.

Happy Valentine's Day Bazu & Daiku!!!! I hope you have a safe trip to and from New York :)

village mama said...

What a beautiful hearty meal! Happy Valentine's day to you four! Enjoy NYC!

Twisted Cinderella said...

They both look wonderful! I am going to try the Vegan Ceviche!

vko said...

Hi Bazu!

You absolutely must go to sacred chow and let me know what you think.

The Sarah Kramer things looks cool. I might try to check it out- if I can make it, I will let you know and maybe I can say hello to you if you tell me how to find you.

Umm, I want to have vegan potluck dinner in NYC. Sounds like a lot of fun, need to look into that...
Would just be a wonderful way to meet people and maybe even introduce non-believers that vegan food can be delicious.

I too used to love ceviche and I will definitely be making your ceviche- and the hearts & absence theme, simply brilliant with that yearning for ceviches past, but realizing that the present is so much better than the pre-vegan past could ever be...hehehe

Hope you have a good trip and Happy V-DAy!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Oh, Bazu, the blackberry balsamic syrup sounds divine! I absolutely love every ingredient in this salad. I'm definitely making this. Soon. :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Oh, and thanks so much for the link! I've added a link to yours on my blog too. :)

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

Ah - now that truly is an original idea - you've caught my eye!

urban vegan said...

Happy <3 Day, Bazu & Daiku.

I love your ceviche recipe....gotta try it. Your "heart-y" recipes are perfect for the big day.

How you're all dug out up there!

Candi said...

You are so creative! I love the artichoke salad! So beautiful!

I'd love to try the ceviche! You make it look so elegant too.

Happy Valentine's Day. Have fun in NY!

laura k said...

Wow, Bazu! That sounds incredible! I have never used hearts of palm, though I saw it in the store the other day and contemplated it for several minutes... I am glad that you got to enjoy this meal with Daiku as an early V-day celebration. I wanted to participate in Susan's round-up so badly, but I was so swamped with work this weekend and then I got sick on Monday and didn't feel like being creative in the kitchen. Oh well, perhaps I'll try a late entry.

meesh said...

What a gorgeous salad! I also used to love calamari so I will have to give your first recipe a try.
I'm sorry you won't get to be with your honey today. I hope NYC is good to you, though.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Anonymous said...

I had ceviche once, in Honduras, but I didn't know what it was until later. I do remember liking it, though, so I'll have to try this! (I also had hearts of palm there, too, so this is a culturally consistent substitution, I'd guess!)

Nikk said...

How pretty! :)

Be careful on the ice out there!

MeloMeals said...

What a brilliant presentation and idea!

KleoPatra said...

Blood oranges are so cool. Things are gonna look up 'cause you know... absence makes the heart grow fonder. BIG TIME.

Food looks luscious, delicious, delectable and divine.

(as usual, as always!)

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

bazu, you've cooked up some beautiful, exotic, & healthy food here. hope NY treats you well. :o)

Anonymous said...

yum, love how the ceviche looks!

Kati said...

I've never eaten hearts of palm, but they really do look like calamari - amazing! Looks like a delicious meal. Hope you had/have a great trip!

Anonymous said...

You know, I've never had hearts of palm before and now I'm very intrigued. Quite the clever entry and such beautiful presentation.

Anonymous said...

Your meal is so inventive. I just picked up my first blood oranges so I'm going to have to try them in a salad. They are much tarter than I expected.

Ruthie said...

Quite beautiful! I've never had hearts of palm but have seen them at the store. :)