Palm Cake

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The Planterra Palm Cake has become one of the most requested items by guests

of all dietary preferences at the Planterra Conservatory – not just from those who follow a planted-based diet. The popular hors d’oeuvre is made from hearts of palm and artichoke hearts, and it delivers a savory, multi-dimensional bite, much like pan-fried goat cheese or a crab cake, but made only from ingredients grown under the sun.  By overwhelmingly popular request from fans around the U.S., Planterra has released an adapted recipe for those who wish to make the dish at home as an entrée salad.

Palm Cake [Vegan]


For the Palm Cakes:

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • 1 Celery stalk, minced
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz) Hearts of Palm in brine, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14 oz) Artichoke hearts in brine, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1.5 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 sheet toasted nori
  • 2/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs, divided
  • Canola oil for searing

For the Tomato Aioli:

  • 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, packed in oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonaisse
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh tarragon, minced

For the Pomegranate Vinaigrette (1 cup):

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 teaspoon sweetener
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Blistered Heirloom Tomatoes:

  • 1 pint Heirloom cherry tomatoes, washed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


For the Palm Cakes:

  1. In a small sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sweat the shallots and celery for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Remove from heat.
  2. Wrap the artichokes and hearts of palm in a clean tea towel and squeeze to remove as much moisture as possible from the vegetables. This will also help break the vegetables into smaller pieces. Unwrap the towel and transfer the dried vegetables to paper towels to drain further.
  3. Meanwhile, add the sautéed vegetables, Old Bay, paprika, cornstarch, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and lemon zest to the bowl of a food processor.
  4. Using kitchen shears, cut the nori into small pieces. Alternatively, you can shred it by hand. Add this to the bowl of the food processor and pulse a few times to combine the ingredients.
  5. Add in the artichokes and hearts of palm. Pulse a few more times until the vegetables have been roughly chopped and fully incorporated into the mixture.
  6. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl, along with 1/4 cup of the breadcrumbs and combine. Allow this mixture to rest for 2-3 minutes.
  7. When pressed firmly, the mixture should hold together very well.
  8. Divide the mixture into 18 heaping tablespoons. Firmly press and form each portion of dough into a round, flat cake, approximately 2 inches wide. Transfer cakes to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. At this point, you can refrigerate the cakes, covered in plastic wrap, until 30 minutes before you are ready to serve them. The uncooked cakes will keep in the fridge for up to overnight. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.
  10. Place the remaining breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Gently press each cake into the breadcrumbs to loosely coat and return to the sheet tray.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a sheet tray with a wire rack. In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, add enough canola oil to reach a depth of 1/4 of an inch. Over medium-high flame, heat until the oil is shimmering, but not smoking.
  12. Add in half of the cakes and sear until evenly golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the browned cakes to the sheet pan with the wire rack.
  13. Repeat the searing procedure with the other half of the cakes. Add more oil into the pan as needed to maintain the same 1/4 inch depth. When all of the cakes have been seared, transfer them to the oven to finish cooking for 5-8 minutes.
  14. Serve the palm cakes immediately with a small dollop of tomato aioli over the Planterra salad (recipe follows) or as hors d’oeuvres.

For the Aioli:

  1. Place all ingredients except for the tarragon in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until the tomatoes have been finely chopped. Add salt and paprika to taste.
  2. Fold in fresh tarragon. Refrigerate until it is time to serve. This sauce will keep well in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.

For the Salad:

  1. Make the vinaigrette: reduce the pomegranate juice by half by simmering over medium heat in a saucepan.
  2. Place the reduced juice and all other vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and mix for about 60 seconds until they emulsify and take on a creamy appearance.
  3. Refrigerate the pomegranate vinaigrette until it is time to assemble the salad.
  4. Turn the oven up to 425 F. For the blistered tomatoes, toss the tomatoes with 1 Tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp paprika, and ½ tsp salt to evenly coat. Bake on a sheet tray for 10 minutes, or until the tomato skins start to pop and blister in the oven. Cool to room temperature.
  5. Assemble the salads: add the greens and all other ingredients to a large bowl and toss with ¾ - 1 cup of the vinaigrette, adjusting based on how much dressing you prefer. Divide salad evenly between 6 plates. Top with 3 warm palm cakes and a dollop of tomato aioli.


For a gluten-free version, substitute breadcrumbs with gluten-free alternative breadcrumbs. • If desired, the outer coating of breadcrumbs can be omitted. • Keep the cakes petite in size; a burger-size patty is too strong, and the ratio of crispy and moist interior is not balanced in a larger cake.

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