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Kalyn's Kitchen

Arugula Salad with Hearts of Palm, Kalamata Olives, and Gorgonzola

As some of you may remember, I do have that huge bottle of Kalamata olives to use up, so this is something I came up with. It didn’t use too many olives, but still the olives were a great addition. I’m always creating arugula salads, but I think this will become one of my favorites.

The ingredient here that might be unfamiliar for some people is hearts of palm. When I wrote about them once for Weekend Herb Blogging, I learned that they really are the hearts of a palm tree. They’re a bit controversial, as well as expensive, because harvesting them kills the tree. If you don’t want to use them, artichoke hearts would make a good substitute. (Edit, added 5-22: I may have been misinformed about trees being killed in the harvest. See the comments for information from a grower who explains that the trees produce “pups” which continue to live when the center palm is harvested. Second edit, added 5-23: Apparently some trees are harvested whole while others are allowed to produce new growth before they are harvested. See comments for link to an article on the problems with harvesting whole trees. Thanks to Susan for this additional information.)

For this salad I used a Gorgonzola Vinaigrette, simply olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a little crumbled gorgonzola wisked together and then tossed with the arugula. This is a dressing where the sum is so much greater than the parts! If you like gorgonzola at all, do try it even if you don’t make this salad.

Arugula Salad with Hearts of Palm, Kalamata Olives, and Gorgonzola (Makes 2 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

3-4 oz. baby arugula (several large handfuls)
1 cup diced hearts of palm
10-12 Kalamata olives
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:
1 T crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
2 T olive oil
1 T good quality Balsamic vinegar


Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Gorgonzola cheese. Dice hearts of palm, place in small bowl and mix in a little less than half of the dressing mixture. Toss dressing with hearts of palm and let them marinate while you prep the other salad ingredients.

Cut Kalamata olive in half lengthwise. Wash arugula and spin or blot dry. (I used a salad spinner and still dried it a little with a paper towel.) Put arugula into mixing bowl and toss with remaining dressing.

Arrange arugula on plate, spoon over hearts of palm and put olives on top. Grind pepper over and serve immediately.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This salad would be a good choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet, but the Gorgonzola, olives, and olive oil all contain some fat, so serve it with other lower fat choices like Friday Night Grilled Salmon or Marinated Flank Steak. For phase two or three, you could add something like Georgette’s Really Lemony Greek Pilafi.

More Yummy Arugula Salads:
(Recipes from other blogs may not be South Beach friendly, check ingredients)
Arugula Salad with Marinated Artichokes and More
Arugula Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese from Simply Recipes
Arugula Shrimp Salad from Cooking with Amy
Arugula Salad with Maytag Cheese, Pears, and Candied Walnuts from What Did You Eat?
Chickpea Salad with Purslane and Arugula from Kitchenography
Arugula with Peaches, Concord Grapes, and Feta from A Veggie Venture

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    15 Comments on “Arugula Salad with Hearts of Palm, Kalamata Olives, and Gorgonzola”

  1. IT does looks great your salad..I`m planning to make this weekend..I just love hearts of palm..I remember growing up it was always present in our house ,in salads , cold pastas etc…thanks !

  2. Susan, thanks for the additional information. My bottle says “Costa Rica” so now I am hoping it’s the type the previous commenter referred to. Will read the article from your link when I get home from school tonight.

  3. Hi, Kalyn. Curious cook that I am, I did some of my own sleuthing about the palm harvesting issue. It appears that both your info and that of Delite Debolt are correct. It depends on the variety of palm used. Harvesting single-trunked trees in the wild does require felling the entire tree, but apparently there are plantations that cultivate multi-suckered trees to ensure a renewable resource with less environmental impact. My comments are longer than intended, but for those who care about such things, it’s important reading.

    This 2002 WSJ article discusses the serious problems with palm harvesting in Brazil:


  4. Sarah, see the comment below. I’m relieved to find out this information.

    Delite, thanks for the clarification. I’m not sure where I read about the tree being killed, but I am glad to learn there are other alternatives. I appreciate the information and will edit my post so I don’t mislead people.

  5. Hello Kalyn, I import fresh hearts of palm from my family farm in Costa Rica, and I am always thrilled to find people using them in creative ways even if they are from a can. It does upset me however when the statement is made that the tree is killed in the process of harveting. Most hearts of palm you find today are from the pejibaya palm tree that is self regenerating, and on our farm no tree is ever harvested unless it has 3 pups. To learn more about our product please visit our website. http://www.dekingofhearts.com

  6. Kalyn, that salad looks heavenly. And I love hearts of palm, though it’s been quite a while since I last ate them. I didn’t realize there was a controversy about them. Wow. That really makes me think twice about them – not sure I like the idea of killing a tree. How much does one tree yield, I wonder?

  7. Millufe, wow that is a huge price for olives. I agree, too expensive. Glad you liked the Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar.

    Patricia, it will be fun deciding what to do with them.

    Christine, thanks.

    Lynn, I was surprised to hear about it killing the tree too.

    Cyndi, mixing it in gives that gorgonzola flavor all through the dressing. Yum.

    Chris, I loved it.

    Tanna, I’ll try to come up with some things that are interesting.

    AF, love the idea of the asparagus-flavored oil!

  8. Hi Kalyn, can’t wait to try this salad, it sounds so delicious. Also, since I know you LOVE asparagus too, I just discovered, by accident, that if you sautee asparagus in a bit of olive oil, the oil takes on an intense asparagus flavor and can be the base for a great salad dressing.

    Am enjoying hearing about your garden too! THANKS.

  9. This is really fun to see how many ways you can use those olives.

  10. So many good things about this salad….too many! I love it. Kalamata Olives and Gorgonzola? oh my!

  11. I never thought about mixing the cheese in with the vinaigrette. Good idea!

  12. Your salad looks just delicious! Thanks also for the info on the heart of palm – I had no idea you had to kill a tree to get it.

  13. Looks lovely — with either hearts of palm or artichoke hearts (or both!) 🙂

  14. Kalyn, this salad is just perfect. The ingredients are delicious and I’m sure they go very well together.
    I’m a big olive fan and won’t mind if you use the whole jar as long as you tell us everything you make with them. 😉

  15. Hi Kalyn, it looks nice! I like Kalamata Olives, it costs around $13 a pond in Japan! Can you believe it? Too expensive! By the way, I cooked Grilled Chichen with Balsamic vinegar the last weekend and it was great! Then I thought it went well with rice and bread so I made sandwiches with it, great too! Thank you