Hearts of Palm Salad

Warm hearts of palm, salsa and guac, is there anything more one could ask for? Another Trixy vegan recipe for ya. 

Got all excited when I first heard about these babies, cuz I naively hoped for one second they may a by-product of the palm oil industry – making that unsustainable practice slightly better. Alas, that is not the case.

For those of us in the UK where they are not so commonly known atm, hearts of palm are extremely intensive to farm and are, certainly should be, considered something of a delicacy, it turns out.

On the plus side, over in Ecuador where they’re big on palm hearts, each tree stays in the ground for at least 12 years. After 1.5yrs growth, the palms are ready for harvesting. Only the main stem of each tree is cut, one of the remaining smaller stems will become the new main stem and will be ready for harvesting in about six months. This cycle continues for a decade or so, carried out by smaller holders in agroforestry systems. The pupunha palm, native to south America, is productive for 50-75yrs.

Either way, they are deliciously different from everything else, and something of a game changer.

Thi recipe is slightly adapted from Emeril Lagasse, from his book with Jessie Tirsch ‘New New Orleans Cooking’.

40 mins + marinating | serves 6 | easy

Ingredients 

2 tins hearts of palm, drained and rinsed

60g cornflour

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp chipotle or cayenne powder

veg oil for shallow frying

salsa:

1 large green pepper, deseeded and diced

3 tomatoes, deseeded and diced

1/2 onion finely diced

1 large jalapeño, deseeded and finely chopped

1 tsp crushed garlic

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

1 tbsp e-v olive oil

large handful coriander, chopped

guacamole: 

3 avocados, peeled and stoned

1 lime, juice

1/4 tsp salt

1-2 tsp green hot sauce

Method

Make the guac, leaving it a bit chunky, and set it aside for 30mins.

Combine the salsa ingredients and set aside.

Combine the flour with the spices in a shallow dish and season. Cut your palm hearts in half on the diagonal, or into thick discs if you prefer, and roll them in the flour to coat them all over.

Fry the palm hearts until golden in about 1cm of oil.

Make a line of guac down the middle of your serving dish, lay the palm hearts atop, and sprinkle liberally with the salsa and more coriander leaves.

Ta-da! x

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PS: we halved the recipe for us big potatoes and the photos you see here.

PPS: here’s a link to an interesting website about palm oil. Say No To Palm Oil.

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