3 ways to cook palm heart

The palm heart is a popular delicacy in Mauritian cuisine. Favoured for its fresh taste it is often used as an ingredient in mixed salads, gratins and soups. It’s a rich source of fibre, protein and minerals and aids digestion.

Mauritian cuisine at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Mauritian cuisine at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Ways of eating palm hearts

The three most common types of palm hearts you will find in shops are the white palm heart, the royal palm heart and the palm heart of a coconut tree.

Here are 3 recipes for palm heart suggested by our chefs at Constance Belle Mare Plage.

Recipe I: Palm heart and marrow toast with anchovy and citrus by Jocelyn Larose

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 2 pieces of palm heart
  • 1 French baguette
  • 2 yellow limes
  • 2 oranges
  • 1kg beef marrow
  • 100g flavoured tea
  • 1L of fish stock
  • 3 gelatine leaves
  • 2g seaweed (agar-agar)
  • 200g bacon
  • 100g beef stock
  • 500ml soya oil
  • Salt and pepper

1. Braise the palm heart in water and lime juice for 45 minutes on medium heat. Once cooked, cool immediately in ice-cold water. Cut the palm heart in lengths of 8cm. Take care to remove the centre while leaving the cylindrical casing of the palm heart intact.

2. Bring the fish stock to a boil, remove from heat and add the beef marrow for approximately 6 minutes. Dice the bacon, brown in a pan and transfer onto paper towel.

3. To make the citrus anchoïade, reduce 500ml of the fish stock by half – add the gelatin softened in cold water and the agar-agar and leave to cool. Mix with a blender with 150ml soya oil, adjust the seasoning using salt and pepper as well as the orange zest and lime. Transfer into a pastry bag and store in the fridge.

Finishing and presentation

Cut 4 slices of bread and grill them. Cut the palm heart into 1cm thick slices. On the slices of bread, spread a layer of citrus from the pastry bag and add the cylinders of palm heart. Place the bacon in the palm heart cylinders and then add a layer of citrus anchoïade.

Place the palm heart in the centre of the plate, followed by the slices of bread around the side. Use the beef sauce to drizzle around the palm heart. Finally add the citrus zest on the slices of bread.

Recipe II: Crispy palm salad by Gerard Rohan and Cherry Guava sorbet and vanilla oil by Frédéric Goisset

La Citronnelle Restaurant, Constance Belle Mare Plage

La Citronnelle Restaurant, Constance Belle Mare Plage

The cherry guava is a small fruit well-loved in Mauritius when in season. It blends perfectly in this recipe, the crispiness of the palm heart and the acidity and freshness of the sorbet creating a light, refreshing starter.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Palm salad

  • 1piece of palm heart
  • 1 mango (not too ripe)
  • 1 bunch of chives
  • 10g of pink candied ginger
  • 40ml lime juice
  • 15g olive oil
  • Tabasco QS

Using a paring knife, peel the palm heart. Leave only the edible part of the heart. Peel the mango and cut into ½ cm cubes. Set aside. Finely slice the chives. Chop the pink ginger.

Chef’s comment:

Add the lime juice immediately after slicing the palm to avoid oxidation and simultaneously, add the olive oil. In this recipe we have made use of mango, however, a wide variety of exotic fruits can be used as the palm generally has a neutral taste.

Cherry guava sorbet

  • 500g guava puree
  • 100ml red wine
  • 130g glucose
  • 4g cinnamon powder
  • 3g green cardamom
  • 4g sorbet stabiliser
  • 150ml water
  • 40g sugar

Vanilla oil

  • 1 Madagascar vanilla pod
  • 50g olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Split the vanilla pod in two, remove the seeds and add to the olive oil. Slice the rest of the pod into thin strips and oven dry for 24 hours.

Finishing and presentation

  • Fresh mint
  • Salt

Slice the palm heart into thin (3mm) slices. Transfer to a bowl, add the lime juice, the chopped ginger, the mango cubes and the chives.

Season with olive oil, salt and a dash of Tabasco. Mix thoroughly and plate up in a shallow dish.

Add a scoop of guava sorbet, mint, 2 sticks of dried vanilla. As a finishing touch, drizzle some drops of vanilla oil and sprinkle salt on the palm salad.

Belle Mare Plage's La Spiaggia Restaurant

Belle Mare Plage’s La Spiaggia Restaurant

Recipe III: Palm heart velouté

Ingredients

  • 500g palm heart
  • 50g almond powder
  • 400g milk
  • 500g liquid cream
  • 20g pineapple
  • 400g coconut water
  • 4g white pepper
  • 4g coriander kernels
  • 4g mint leaf
  • 4g coriander leaf
  • 22g scallion
  • 12g salt

Put everything in small rondo forms and cook covered with baking paper for about two hours, mix and push through a sieve. Season to taste.

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