The citrusy dressing on this Caribbean-inspired hearts of palm salad is marvelously dense with fresh cilantro, shallots, lemon juice and honey. The oranges here release juice as they sit, so be sure to serve the salad right after you make it.
2/3 cup cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 navel oranges
Two 14-ounce cans or jars of hearts of palm, drained and cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch slices
3 bunches of watercress, cut into 2-inch lengths, thick stems discarded
In a blender, combine the cilantro leaves, shallot, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and honey and pulse until the cilantro is finely chopped. With the machine on, add the olive oil in a steady stream and blend until smooth. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
Using a sharp knife, peel the oranges, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over a very large bowl, cut in between the membranes, releasing the sections into the bowl. Add the hearts of palm, watercress and tomatoes and toss gently. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Serve right away.
Australian Riesling typically has a lime character that's ideal with the citrus-inflected dishes of Caribbean cuisine, like this salad.
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