Hearts of Palm, Blood Orange and Watercress Salad

"This delicious salad is a great first course for a dinner party. If blood oranges are not in season, you can use regular navel oranges, but the salad will have a slightly sweeter flavor. If you cannot find watercress you can use frisée instead, but I prefer watercress if it is available. For the large sea salt flakes, I use Maldon."
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Ready In:




  • Rinse the watercress and set aside to dry.
  • Peel the oranges, making sure to remove all the pith. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, supreme the oranges - carefully cut out each section of fruit by inserting the blade of the knife between the flesh and the membrane on both sides. Once you have supremed each orange, squeeze the remaining membranes to get out all the juice. Place the blood orange segments in a separate bowl and set aside.
  • To the bowl containing the blood orange juice, add the Dijon mustard, lemon juice and red wine vinegar, stirring well to combine. Whisk in the olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Drain the hearts of palm and cut each lengthwise into quarters. If the quarters are very long, you can cut them in half so they will be a more manageable "bite" size.
  • Slice the shallot as thinly as possible - I use a mandoline to get paper-thin slices, but if you do not have a mandoline just slice as thinly as possible with a knife.
  • Place the hearts of palm and the sliced shallot in the vinaigrette, tossing well so that the vegetables are coated. Set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
  • Pick over the watercress, removing any large stems and tearing into bite-sized pieces.
  • Drain the hearts of palm/ shallot mixture RESERVING THE VINAIGRETTE.
  • Add the vinaigrette to the watercress a small amount at a time, tossing as you go. You do not want to over-dress the salad, so don't pour it all in at once. If you don't use all the vinaigrette you can reserve it for another use.
  • Place the dressed watercress on a serving platter. Cover the watercress with the hearts of palm and shallot mixture, and then spread the blood orange supremes on top of the hearts of palm. Grind some black pepper over the salad and sprinkle with the sea salt flakes.

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