Well-informed nature lovers will probably be shocked that as self-declared tree-huggers we would share a recipe for Palmito Guisado (Stewed Heart of Palm).
The original recipe calls for the “heart” of the Palma Real, our majestic Dominican national tree. Harvesting it means killing the tree. But fear not, fellow tree-lovers, no Palmas Reales were harmed in the making of this dish, and better yet, we have a good reason to post this recipe. Read on.
I hazard a guess that most people that buy illegally-harvested heart of palm in the Dominican Rep. have no idea the harm that harvesting it does to the Palma Real tree.
And I would also guess that they may not know that there are alternatives that don’t harm the environment. In fact, the heart of some species of palm trees can be harvested over and over again as it regrows. Better yet, these are fast-growing species that are grown commercially.
So if you would like to enjoy this traditional dish, and you live in the Dominican Rep., please make sure you buy the heart of palm from renewable resources. Let’s protect our national tree.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 large purple onion sliced finely
- 1 large green bell pepper cut into strips
- 4 plum tomatoes, cubed
- ½ tablespoon of crushed garlic
- ½ teaspoon of fruit vinegar
- 1 doz olives
- 2 lb [0.9 kg] of pre-cooked heart of palm cut into slices
- ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon of salt, or to taste
- Heat a tablespoon of oil over low heat in a large skillet.
- Cook and stir the onions until they turn transparent. Add the pepper, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar and olives. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are cooked-through. Add the heart of palm, and 2 cups of water. Simmer uncovered until the liquid has reduced to half.
- Season with pepper and salt to taste.