A delicately sweet, ivory-colored vegetable, heart of palm is literally the center of a young palm tree, most commonly Bactris gasipaes, the peach palm. The texture is tender-crisp.
- 3 anchovy fillets
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 14-ounce cans hearts of palm, drained and cut into 1-inch discs
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1 leek, diced, washed really well
- 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
- Parmesan cheese, shaved
By hand or in a food processor, chop together the anchovies, garlic and chili flakes until the mixture forms a paste. Set aside.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat until the pan is very hot, and add the oil and butter. Brown the hearts of palm (try to turn only once), being careful not to break the hearts of palm.
Add the anchovy mixture and the leeks to the pan and cook until the leeks are soft. Stir in the broth, scraping the sides of the pan. Serve warm, topped with shaved parmesan.