What Exactly Are Hearts of Palm and How Should You Use Them?

The heart of palm is the delicious, crunchy vegetable harvested from the center of the cabbage palm tree. Though they resemble white asparagus, the flavor is much more delicate, making them extremely versatile. Here’s how to use them: 

You’re at a restaurant perusing the lunch menu. You notice one of the salads features something called “hearts of palm.” Not sure what it is? Here's your answer: The heart of palm is the delicious, crunchy vegetable harvested from the center of the cabbage palm tree. Though they resemble white asparagus, the flavor is much more delicate, making them extremely versatile. Here’s how to use them:

1. Hearts of Palm and Cress Salad
Here the hearts of palm are tossed in a refreshing salad with watercress, tomatoes, salty olives and juicy navel oranges.

2. Hearts of Palm Dip
A little bit of garlic, lime zest and olive oil transforms canned hearts of palm into a luscious, low-fat dip.

3. Hearts of Palm Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
The citrusy dressing on this Caribbean-inspired hearts of palm salad is marvelously dense with fresh cilantro, shallots, lemon juice and honey. The oranges here release juice as they sit, so be sure to serve the salad right after you make it.

4. Crabless Cakes with Hearts of Palm & Corn
When chopped, hearts of palm break down into shreds that look like fresh crab meat. Here they get seasoned with Old Bay, vegan mayonnaise and Dijon mustard for a sensational main course.

5. Hearts of Palm and Avocado Salad
This Brazilian-style salad might taste a bit rich—with creamy avocado and a mayonnaise dressing—but it’s really quite healthy.

6. Quinoa, Artichoke and Hearts of Palm Salad
This crunchy salad is tossed with a tart dressing of wine vinegar and avocado oil.

7. Ensalada de Palmitos (Hearts of Palm Salad)
This simple but universally popular mixture is equally good as a side dish or an appetizer spread.

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