Fresh Palm Heart is a tropical delicacy on North Island. As the names suggests, Heart of Palm is the inner core of certain palm tree species. On North we never use indigenous palms, with so many coconut trees on the Island we have the luxury of indulging in this prized ingredient. Read our post on An Ode to the Coconut to learn more about our conservation programme on clearing invasives to make way for new endemic life on North Island.
When harvesting Palm Heart, the entire tree is cut down and the bark is removed. Watch our Chef peel away the outer fibrous layers to reveal its tender yet crisp, pale-white core. Fresh Palm Heart is a delicate flavour, with a taste similar to an artichoke and a texture likened to a bamboo shoot. It can be enjoyed simply on its own or in a variety of recipes.
Try our Chef’s suggestion of a North Island tropical palm heart salad, with a fragrant lime and ginger dressing. One can understand why it is often referred to as a “Millionaire’s Salad”.
Tropical Palm Heart Salad with a Frangrant Lime and Ginger Dressing
Recipe serves 4 people
For the dressing
- 30ml sesame oil
- 45g shallots, finely chopped
- 30g fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 45g pickled ginger, finely chopped
- 30ml pickled ginger juice
- 1 small fresh chilli (no seeds), finely chopped
- 110ml rice wine vinegar
- 110ml sugar syrup
- 120ml dashi
- 30ml soy sauce
- 30ml fish sauce
- 4-6 limes
For the salad
- 300g fresh palm heart*
- 100g red bell peppers
- 100g green mango
- 50g green tomato (optional)
- 50g fresh coconut
- 100g avocado
- 2g fresh mint
- 5g fresh coriander
- Mix all of the ingredients for the dressing together, taste for balance.
- Using a potato peeler, peel long strips of the palm heart and set aside.
- Julienne cut the red bell pepper and set aside.
- Peel and slice the mango cheeks from the pip, then thinly slice lengthways and set aside.
- Using a potato peeler shave the coconut flesh into strips and set aside.
- Cube the avocado into uneven squares.
- Slice the green tomatoes.
- Chop half the mint and keep the rest whole.
- Pick individual leaves from the coriander stalks.
- Reserve a small amount of each ingredient to garnish the top of your salad. Then in a bowl toss the remaining ingredients with the lime and ginger dressing. Serve in a bowl and decorate the top of the tossed salad with the undressed reserved ingredients.
*One could replace fresh palm heart with the jarred variety, but once you have tasted fresh palm heart you just won’t be able to turn back.