Heart of palm, also called palm heart, palmito, chonta or swamp cabbage, is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees (notably the coconut (Cocos nucifera), Palmito Juçara (Euterpe edulis), Açaí palm (Euterpe oleracea), sabal (Sabal spp.) and pejibaye (Bactris gasipaes) palms). It is costly because harvesting in the wild kills the tree. Heart of palm is often eaten in a salad, sometimes called "millionaire's salad," and also in vegetarian spreads.
|Artichoke Hearts and Bottoms|
|The fleshy base section of the artichoke, which is referred to as the artichoke bottom. The artichoke is a tall plant that is a relative of the thistle plant and native to Mediterranean regions, but is also grown in other parts of the world. It consists of tough, pointed, green leaves that are tightly packed around a gray-green base or bottom. It is the fleshy base of the leaves and the fleshy center or heart of the artichoke that are the sections of the plant most suitable for eating. Artichoke bottoms have a tender texture and flavorful taste, similar to the artichoke heart. The bottoms, like the heart, can be served as snacks, appetizers or as a tasty ingredient for salads and other side dishes. |
Whole Artichokes are prepared for cooking by removing all but 5–10 mm or so of the stem, and (optionally) cutting away about a quarter of each scale with scissors. This removes the thorns that can interfere with handling the leaves when eating. Then, the artichoke is boiled or steamed until tender, about 15–45 minutes. If boiling, salt can be added to the water, if desired. It may be preferable not to cover the pot while the artichokes are boiled, so that the acids will boil out into the air. Covered artichokes can turn brown due to the acids and chlorophyll oxidation.