By adding this simple and delicious palmito guisado recipe (stewed heart of palm) we want to do more than just share how tasty it is, we want you to help our national tree.
Why we ❤️ it
Palmito guisado is a marvelous, flavorful, traditional Dominican dish. It is a fantastic vegan dish, that is easy to make, and can be served as a side dish, or as a light main dish. It combines hearts of palm, vegetables, and herbs and has a rich sauce that goes very well with any of our moros or white rice.
Well-informed nature lovers will probably be shocked that as self-declared tree-huggers we would share a recipe for palmito guisado.
Palmito is the heart of palm trees, in our country, the original recipe calls for the "heart" of the Palma Real, our majestic Dominican national tree.
Harvesting heart of palms not only kills the tree, but it also harms the Royal palm tree habitat of our national bird, the cigua palmera or palmchat (Dulus dominicus), which is also endemic to the island. 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 for posting this recipe. Read on.
By adding this heart of palm recipe we'd like to tell you that you can enjoy this dish without harvesting Palma Real (Roystonea hispaniolana Bailey). There are alternatives! In fact, the heart of other edible species of palm trees can be harvested over and over again as it regrows, and you can choose those instead. These are fast-growing species that are grown commercially. Just make sure to buy palmitos from the supermarket (never from street vendors!), and that it comes from reputable sources.
I'll hazard a guess that most people who buy illegally-harvested hearts of palm in the Dominican Republic have no idea of the harm that harvesting it does to the Palma Real tree. But now you know, and you can help by spreading the word.
Let's protect our national tree.
About our recipe
For this recipe, I specifically chose canned palmito (Amazon affiliate link). I admit it may not taste as good as the real thing, but I think it is 100% worth it. What do you think? How do you cook hearts of palm?
This recipe yields 4 servings.
[Recipe] Palmito Guisado (Stewed Heart of Palm)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 green bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 4 plum tomato, diced
- ½ tablespoon mashed garlic
- ½ teaspoon vinegar, apple cider vinegar or fruit vinegar
- 1 dozen pitted green olives
- 2 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon pepper (freshly-cracked, or ground), (or more, to taste)
- 1 teaspoon salt, (or more, to taste)
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Click on the ingredient links to buy from my Amazon affiliate shop
- Cook seasoning: Heat a tablespoon of oil over low heat in a large skillet.Cook and stir the onions until they turn translucent. Add the pepper, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, and olives. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through.
- Cook palmito: Add the heart of palm, and 2 cups [0.5 liter] of water. Simmer uncovered until the liquid has reduced to half.Season with pepper and salt to taste.
- Serving: Remove from the stove and serve.
Tips and Notes
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutritional information.