I WAS absolutely intrigued when a work colleague recently told me about hearts of palm.
I consider myself pretty worldly when it comes to food so when something I have never heard of pops up, I have to find out more.
A couple of days later my very own jar of palm hearts showed up.
On first taste, it really reminded me of something but I couldn't put my finger on it.
Texture wise, the little cylindrical tubes are firm on the outside and fibrous on the inside and the flavour is a little grassy.
It actually reminded me of artichoke hearts a little, but milder in flavour. And like artichoke hearts they are said to be good in salads, with pasta and on pizzas.
Just as the name suggests, hearts of palm are harvested from palm trees and are a delicacy in many cultures, dating back thousands of years in Central and South America.
This recipe was recommended to me and it's the perfect time of year to make the best of mangoes, one of my favourite fruits.
It definitely combines all of those favourite flavours of mine - lime, coriander and mango.
You could even add some pieces of grilled chicken to make it a main.
I am also assured that hearts of palm are good on the waistline, which is always a bonus.
One thing to note about these palm hearts is the harvesting method.
I do like to think of myself as a socially conscious eater and like to know where my food has come from.
So when it comes to these, you need to make sure they have not been harvested in a way that damages the trees so they die.
There are ethically aware companies out there including Cultiverde.
Hearts of palm with mango and lime
Preparation time 20 minutes
1 cup of sliced Cultiverde hearts of palm
6 large radishes
1/2 cup of chopped coriander
2 green shallots
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tsp of dijon mustard
tsp extra virgin olive oil
Combine lime juice, dijon mustard and then whisk in olive oil to make a thin emulsion.
Peel mango and cut into pieces about 2cm square.
Drain hearts of palm, then cut hearts of palm and radishes in half lengthwise and cut into thick half-moon slices.
Slice shallots, wash and dry.
Combine mango, hearts of palm slices, radish slices, and green shallots in a bowl.
Stir dressing into combined salad ingredients (you may not need all the dressing).
Add chopped coriander and gently fold into salad.