A refreshing avocado and grapefruit salad featuring kale, hearts of palm, and thin slivers of red Chile peppers. Perfect for summer, or anytime you need a side salad that is not the same old, same old. Toss in some grilled chicken to make it a main dish!

avocado and grapefruit salad on plate

Originally posted February 17, 2014

I totally have a weak stomach when it comes to hearing about other people’s injuries. I love watching the Olympics–I am a HUGE sucker for ice dancing, no shame–but I seriously could do without the commentary detailing the torn ACLs and fractured spines. I just want to watch tiny doll-like women prance around in sequins. Without hearing about how they literally just snapped in half four months ago but look, here they are competing. Is that too much to ask?

close-up of grapefruit in salad with heart of palm

Can you tell I was the little kid who was always put on defense in soccer because I was (not-so) secretly afraid of bruising my shins? I did cross-country later in high school because I knew I wouldn’t have to touch anybody. What a wuss. 

My fear of injury is real, but most of the time it’s a weak-sauce cover for my complete lack of athletic ability. No, really. Eric congratulates me when he tosses me the keys or the phone across the room and I actually catch it. This is of course after he bounces it in his hand a couple times in my direction giving me that look, like, You can do this, you’re a big girl, and I cringe and cower because dropped phones cost money and keys are pokey and my hands are soft, okay?

grapefruit and kale salad in wooden bowl

Speaking of 3-year-olds, we just had Charlotte’s birthday party this weekend. It was a raging success, featuring fruit-loop necklaces, beach balls, and cheesecake parfaits. I was having a hard time coming up with a theme. As the day of the party drew nearer and nearer and I still had no clue what I was going to do, I told Eric my woes and he just gave me this you-are-insane look and said, “Theme? The theme is birthday. Quit freaking out.”

Clearly he’s never been on Pinterest.

kale and grapefruit salad in front of fruit

Do you guys get any cooking magazines? Which ones are your favorites? I get Cooking Light, which I have a love-hate relationship with. They’re always trying to health-ify desserts, and that’s just not my thing. But their savory dishes can be pretty killer. (Except don’t make their butternut-squash-kale lasagna. It’s gross.)

How to make Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

This avocado, grapefruit, and kale salad, on the other hand, was a winner. Eric saw the recipe and begged me to make it. Whenever I ask him what he wants me to make I usually get a shrug and a “spaghetti,” so since he showed a lot of interest in this I wanted to make it. Plus my parents just dropped off about 5,000 grapefruits from their tree, so it worked out.

can of hearts of palm

Have you tried hearts of palm?  I had never had it before. It has a briny, nutty taste, similar to artichoke hearts. The original recipe calls for 2 cans, but when I saw that each can cost $6.48 I decided that one was enough. I wouldn’t have wanted 2 cans worth in the salad anyway, so it worked out. You can sub artichoke hearts no problem, although hearts of palm are much more mild.

how to slice peel from grapefruitSlice your grapefruit up all pretty like.

Hearts of Palm on cutting boardThen bust out these hearts of palm.

Grapefruit, Kale & Hearts of Palm SaladAnd slice em up. Yum.

Kale, Avocado & Grapefruit Salad in bowl

The combination of flavors in this salad makes it very interesting, a nice change from your typical garden salad. And a nice change from all the heart-shaped chocolate you no doubt ate this weekend. Happy Monday everyone!

More delicious and healthy salads you are going to love!


Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
A refreshing avocado and grapefruit salad featuring kale, hearts of palm, and thin slivers of red Chile peppers. Perfect for summer, or anytime you need a side salad that is not the same old, same old. Toss in some grilled chicken to make it a main dish!


  • 3 tablespoons canola, or olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoons lime zest, or to taste
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons lime juice, fresh
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
  • salt , to taste
  • 4 cups baby kale or regular kale, chopped
  • 1 & 1/2 cups ruby red grapefruit sections, about 2 large grapefruit
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 14-oz can hearts of palm, rinsed, drained, and cut diagonally into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 small red Chile, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, ripe, cut into thin wedges


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime zest, lime juice, mayonnaise, honey, and pepper, and salt to taste.
  • In a salad bowl, toss together kale, grapefruit, red onion, hearts of palm, and red chile. Gently top with the avocado. Serve with dressing, or toss it in the bowl. You can also arrange the salad on 6 individual plates.


If you can't find hearts of palm, you can substitute chopped artichoke hearts. Fennel is also often used.
If you are nervous about the red chile, you can omit it and add hot sauce to the dressing for some flavor.
If kale isn't your thing, just use any green that you like: arugula, romaine, green or red leaf, spring green, etc.
Source: adapted from Cooking Light


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 513mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 5249IU | Vitamin C: 88mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Calories: 200
Keyword: Avocado, grapefruit, hearts of palm, kale, Salad
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

Categorized as ,

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  1. This looks so delicious. I made a similar salad with grapefruit, avocado, and kale a month ago or so. It is so amazing how a salad can draw out the best in bleak winter days. For a few minutes, your California sunshine seems to be shining here in Virginia!

    1. Amen, Lindsey. Isn’t it so funny how the food we eat tricks our brains? That’s why I like to eat ice cream cones when it’s freezing outside. Reverse psychology, right?? Glad to hear you are also a sucker for a grapefruit-kale-avocado combo. Yum.

    1. Thanks Jessica! Doesn’t it make you feel so good when you see so many colors on your plate? It’s like food art. Haha.

    1. Thanks Kayla! Your Kale and Mango Noodles sound amazing. I definitely need to try that. I’ve never cooked with soba noodles, it sounds really good! Thanks for stopping by Kayla!

  2. I’ve never had kale or hearts of palm, but I would like you to come and live with me for the first six months after baby is born and make awesome stuff like this for me to eat. In exchange I will come and live with you for six months and wash the dishes? Or vacuum. Or both.

    I feel healthier just looking at the photos, haha.

    1. Oh my gosh this sounds like a fantastic exchange Claire! I cook, you clean. We will make a great team :)

  3. Lol I have soft unblemished hands that are incapable of catching flying objects too! If you hate hearing the commentary about injuries, you shouldn’t watch that video of that poor heavy weight lifter from the summer olympics (China, I think?) whose arms totally snapped in half when he tried lifting some super heavy weights. Again, this is why I’m a self professed couch potato. No injuries there (except cholesterol build up from eating snacks and not moving). I’m digging this salad, although I’ve never had hearts of palm and trying new (expensive) things kinda freaks me out. Yum to everything else! ;)

    1. SNAPPED in HALF???! Oh you are horrible for putting that image in my mind Nancy, I swear I will never forgive you.

      Sometimes when I eat frosting I have this weird feeling that I may as well just be injecting it into my arteries…

      Don’t be freaked out by hearts of palm. My friend Sarah just bought them today for a good price at costco. Or just do artichoke, it would be really good.

  4. I freak out about injury too! My friends always inviting me and Shawn over to watch the UFC fight. UMMM! Way too scary and violent. The last one she invited us to the guy ending up getting his leg broken on camera. I would have fainted.

    My favorite cooking magazine used to be Everyday Food by Martha Stewart, but I think they cut way back on the budget and now it’s more of a pamphlet than a magazine. And only comes out 4 times a year. Total rip off!

    This salad does look delicious. I’ve never cooked with hearts of palm either. Can’t wait to try : )

    1. UFC!! I would never make it. Oh gosh I can’t even think about that. Happythoughtshappythoughts

      Martha Stewart, keeping customers satisfied, as usual :) Do they have it at the store or do you need a subscription? I’ll have to pick one up.

      And HAPPY late BIRTHDAY Natalie!!!

  5. I’m not a huge grapefruit fan when it’s by itself, but mixed in with other things and I love it! Perfect salad Karen!

    1. I’m usually with you Chelsea. Normally I only like it when it’s covered in sugar :) Also when it’s broiled. Have you tried that? put some brown sugar on top of a half a grapefruit then broil it for a bit? Eat it with yogurt. It’s pretty fantastic.

  6. Someone just literally gave me two jars of hearts of palms and I was all “What do you even do with these?” Now I know.
    (Ice Dancing is my favorite event in the Winter Olympics because there are no jumps and nobody throws each other or hurtles down a mountain at 80 miles per hour. It’s completely low stress and just my speed.)

    1. Did they jar them themselves?? I wouldn’t put it past a friend of yours Ami. You and your kind are pretty impressive folk when it comes to food preservation.

      Ice dancing is the best! Less injuries! Probably not, but you’re right at least they’re not jumping, just twizzling, whatever the heck that is.

  7. I used to subscribe to like every single food magazine on the face of the planet, now I just get Cooking Light, Bon Appetit and Food & Wine. BA is definitely my favorite since it’s more approachable than food and wine, but tends to have a little bit more gourmet dishes than Cooking Light. But no matter the magazine they all make me at least five pounds heavier, because all I want to do after I read is eat my face off! I think it’d be acceptable to eat the crap out of this salad though, so refreshing and healthy and colorful and ahhh springy! P.S WHEN is spring coming??????

    1. I love that you’re a food magazine junkie Nicole! I’m so darn cheap. Pinterest really is the best thing that ever happened to me. I guess I will just stick with Cooking Light, if Bon App is even more gourmet. I can barely handle CL (mostly because of the cheap thing.) I’ve heard good things about the Food Network one, maybe I’ll try that.

      Here’s to sending some springtime your direction! You’re in Kansas right? Yikes. I’ll think sunny thoughts.

      1. I do like Food Network mag too, so many pictures!! Yes, Kansas, ughh please kill me. Kevin and I just asked ourselves yesterday why on earth we still live here. Bagh.

  8. I’m leaving the first comment? I feel so privileged. This looks awesome. I love grapefruit, especially when it’s ripe and naturally sweet.

  9. I don’t think I have ever heard of hearts of palm before. Are they kind of like a water chestnut? Love all the dimensions of this salad. I’m with you on not hearing about injuries… and equally bad at anything athletic. Ha!

    1. Yeah, I had never heard of them before either Laura. Not, not crunchy like a water chestnut. I would say they are most similar to an artichoke heart, just not quite so briny. They are kind of fibrous, but not annoyingly so, the texture is kind of like cooked asparagus.

      And glad to know I’m not the only sports-phobic person out there!

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