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Four of Hearts Salad

20 mins
15 mins
Four of Hearts Salad
Four of Hearts SaladNathan Congleton / TODAY
20 mins
15 mins


  • 1 cup hearts of palm
  • 1 cup hearts of celery, bottom 2-inches of root end reserved
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch red pepper or chipotle flakes
  • blood oranges, zest and juice
  • 2 hearts romaine lettuce
  • 6 strips Applewood smoked bacon
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Chef notes

Obviously I love the play on words with regard to your heart and the blood in the blood oranges. But, it is also a really hearty salad that's full of color and the variety of textures is visually pleasing on the plate.


Technique tip: Grilling romaine is a great way to take a salad's flavor from just refreshing to hearty and complex. Most people don't think about grilling lettuce, but it really does yield great flavor dividends

Swap options: I think icebergs will hold up to grilling and if blood oranges are unavailable, regular oranges will do, but cut back on the amount of honey in the dressing.


For the salad:

Dice the hearts of palm, hearts of celery, and artichoke hearts then toss with the parsley, chives, olive oil and red pepper flakes in a bowl.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 25 minutes or until flavors are well combined.

Pour approximately 1¼ tablespoons of the blood orange juice into a shallow saucer or small bowl. Upend the reserved bottom of the celery heart so cut end is resting in juice and set aside.

Split the romaine lettuce hearts lengthwise. Trim the bottoms into a point. Lightly brush the lettuce with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Grill the lettuce, cut side down, until a brown char forms.

Plate the grilled lettuce in a heart shape and set aside.

For the dressing:

Cook the bacon until crisp (reserve the drippings). Drain on a paper towel lined plate then chop and set aside.

Cook the shallots in 4 tablespoons of the bacon drippings, over medium heat, until softened, about 3–4 minutes.

In a small bowl whisk together the honey, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard until all are thoroughly combined and add to pan. Turn up the heat until mixture begins to bubble, then immediately lower heat to a simmer. 

Stir in chopped bacon and continue stirring until bacon begins to soften.

For assembly:

Spoon chilled heart of palm, artichoke heart and celery heart mixture on top of each grilled Romaine half. Drizzle with warm bacon dressing. Top with goat cheese crumbles (reserving about 1 teaspoon, roughly the size of a dime). Press into a ball and place at the top of the plate.

Remove bottom of celery heart from blood orange juice and shake off excess. It should be slightly stained pink from the juice. Press it into the goat cheese ball so it will remain firmly in place. Serve.