Hearts of Palm, the inner core of certain palm trees, shine in this Hearts of Palm Salad that features tomatoes, lime juice, and two kinds of onion.
It’s insane how good this salad is. If you’ve never had hearts of palm before, now is the time to try it.
This Hearts of Palm salad is based on a traditional Brazilian salad called Salada de Palmitos. It uses simple canned sliced hearts of palm.
What Are Hearts Of Palm?
Heart of palm, sometimes called palm cabbage, ubod, palmito, and chonta, is a vegetable that comes from the inner core and growing bud – the heart- of certain palm tree varieties. Hearts of palm come from Southeast Asia and Central and South America. They can be eaten on their own, but are often found in salads such as this one.
You can buy the heart of palm in cans. They’re sometimes labeled as “swamp cabbage”. I buy them already sliced so you just drain them and they’re ready to go.
What Do Hearts Of Palm Taste Like?
Hearts of palm have a very mild vegetable flavor, like artichokes, especially artichoke hearts. Since they’re similar in flavor, they can be used in recipes that call for them. That is, if a recipe calls for artichoke hearts, you can use hearts of palm instead, and vice versa. If you’ve never had artichoke hearts, another vegetable that tastes like hearts of palm is white asparagus, which is milder in flavor than green asparagus.
The texture of hearts of palm is both creamy and crunchy. It is soft with just a bit of chew to it. If you pull it apart, instead of slicing it, it looks a bit like some cooked seafood, especially crab meat, and can be used to make vegetarian crab cakes.
Because of their mild flavor and pleasant texture, having a can or two of hearts of palm on hand is a great idea. You can add them to all kinds of dishes to boost the nutritional value of your food. If you’re looking for more ideas for using hearts of palm, head over here.
Is Hearts Of Palm Good For You?
Hearts and palm have a lot of nutritional value. They are low in calories and carbs, and are considered a keto food. They’re even used as a low-carb pasta substitute. They’re also high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals like potassium, copper, phosphorus, and zinc.
In addition, while being low calorie and low-carb, they also have some fiber and protein. A 3.5 ounce serving has 36 calories, 4 grams carbs, less than 1 gram of fat, 4 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber. This is a great way to add some vegetable to your diet that also
Can You Use Fresh Hearts Of Palm?
If you can get your hands on fresh hearts of palm, then you can use those. However, they’re hard to come by since they are quite perishable. Also, if you get fresh ones, you’ll just need to peel them and cook them before you use them, following instructions over here.
I think it’s much simpler to use the sliced canned hearts of palm though.
It’s been explained to me (more than once) that Brazilian food is all about the onion, in fact I have a Brazilian onion salad. In this salad there are two kinds of onion, some thinly sliced white or yellow onion as well as chopped spring onion.
The dressing for the salad has a nice touch of lime, salt, pepper, and olive oil. There’s not much more to it other than a chopped tomato.
The salad, which really highlights the flavor and texture of hearts of palm, is simple and refreshing with a lot of flavor.
Enjoy! -Christine xoPrint
This traditional Brazilian salad uses hearts of palm in a can. I buy then already sliced so I just need to drain them to use them. They’re such a convenient addition to any salad.
- 2 (14 oz.) cans of sliced hearts of palm, drained
- 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
- ½ of a small white or yellow onion, very thinly sliced
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- In a medium bowl combine the hearts of palm, tomato, onions, and spring onions.
- In a small bowl combine the olive oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Pour it over the vegetables.
- Stir gently to coat. Serve.
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This post originally appeared in July 2015 and was revised and republished in January 2023.