Bibb Salad with Hearts of Palm & Baby Beets
It takes more than just good taste to make a really satisfying salad; the best salads are chock-full of contrasting textures and complex flavors. This salad has it all - the tender, buttery texture of flavorful Bibb lettuce, the subtle sweetness of baby beets and creamy hearts of palm - not to mention the smooth, but fruity tang of a most unusual vinaigrette!
Bring two large pots of lightly salted water to a boil. Place the hearts of palm in one and the baby beets in the other (you could cook them together, but you'll end up with pink hearts of palm if you do).
Bring both pots back to a low boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the tip of a knife can be inserted into the hearts of palm and the beets, about 15 minutes. (The cooking time will vary according to the size of the beets and the palm hearts.) Drain both pots and place the hearts of palm and the beets into separate ice baths. When chilled, drain well and refrigerate.
This part of the recipe may be prepared up to a day in advance.
Meanwhile, clean and wash the lettuce and tear leaves into bite-sized pieces, keeping 12 of the leaves whole. Place in a bowl and refrigerate.
Prepare the vinaigrette.
Place 3 whole lettuce leaves on each of four chilled salad plates. Toss the torn leaves with enough vinaigrette to coat them. Mound onto the plates.
Slice the hearts of palm thinly crossways and scatter over the salad. Halve the baby beets and place around the sides. Drizzle with a little more of the vinaigrette, if desired, and serve.
Add orange segments, plum wedges, thinly sliced red onion or cooked shrimp for even more flavor.