Dec 16, 2011

Hearts of Palm

I love hearts of palm so much that I eat them right out of the can. Hearts of palm are vegetables harvested from the soft core of a palm tree right here in Hawaii. The type of palm tree used are bred specifically for production of hearts of palm. These trees, called Peach palm is a renewable tree, so it doesn't have to be killed to harvest it's tender. juicy core. It just sprouts a new trunk.

The heart of palm is sweet, soft, yet crispy. It is ivory-colored, firm in texture and delicate in flavor. It can be eaten fresh or canned, which can be found in most grocery stores.

Note: If you are ever on the Hawaiian island of Maui, you can buy fresh hearts of palm from ONO Organic Farms. They sell fresh produce seven days a week from 10 am to 6 pm at their roadside market in Hana (next to the gas station). They have a website at:

On the Hawaiian island of Kauai, you can buy fresh hearts of palm at Kauai Roots Farm Co-op.

Hearts of Palm Salad
This light salad can be served alone or with a small piece of salmon, sauted in garlic butter, then garnished with capers.

1 14-ounce can hearts of palm, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 Hass avocado, quartered and thinly sliced
1 head of curly leaf lettuce or watercress
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt and pepper

On a platter, arrange lettuce leaves, followed by the hearts of palm, tomato and avocado, overlapping the lettuce. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, orange juice and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Makes 4 servings.

Hearts of Palm Salad with Shrimp
Note: You can substitute, crab for the shrimp, or use a combination of both.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup bottled chili sauce
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
a dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 large head of iceberg lettuce, cut into 4, 1/2"slices
3/4 pound shrimp, cleaned and cooked
seedless cucumber slices
1 14-ounce can hearts of palm, drained and cut into 1/4" circles
1/4 cup red bell pepper, cut into thin slices or diced
salt and freshly ground black pepper, or a pinch of cayenne pepper

In a bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, chili sauce, green onions, parsley, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Place lettuce slices onto 4 plates. Toss the cooked shrimp and cucumber slices with half of the dressing and put them on top of the lettuce. Place hearts of palm circles over the shrimp and cucumber, and sprinkle with red bell pepper. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the top of the salads. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Makes 4 salads.

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