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Hearts of Palm Cake with Vegan Dill Mayo

What’s a vegan to do in South Florida, known for its crab cakes? Well, Darbster Bistro put its own creative twist on...

Hearts of Palm Cake with Dill Mayo

What’s a vegan to do in South Florida, known for its crab cakes? Well, Darbster Bistro put its own creative twist on the crab cake and introduced what is now its signature dish: the Palm Cake. Wonderfully seasoned, crispy on the outside, and moist on the inside, it’s an appetizer, entrée, or a sandwich. The cakes have become so popular that a local health food store now carries them. — Gene Baur, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life.


Recipe courtesy of Ellen Quinlan and Alan Gould, owners, Darbster Bistro, West Palm Beach.

Reprinted from Living the Farm Sanctuary Life by Gene Baur with Gene Stone. © 2015 by Gene Baur. Photographs © 2015 by Rodale Inc. By Permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold. 


For the dill mayo:

  • 1 Cup raw cashews
  • 2 dates
  • ½ Cup water
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ Teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ Teaspoon dried dill or 1 teaspoon fresh
  • Pinch of salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the palm cakes:

  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ Teaspoon mild chili powder
  • ½ Teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ Teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ Teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ Cup Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 1 28-ounce can sliced hearts of palm, rinsed
  • 2 ½ Cups panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ Cup vegan mayonnaise, preferably Veganaise
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 to 2 Teaspoon vegan butter, preferably Earth Balance spread


For the dill mayo:

In a blender, combine the cashews, dates, water, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic powder, dill, salt, pepper, and oil. Purée, adding more water as needed to achieve the desired consistency.

For the palm cakes:

Coat a medium skillet with oil and heat over medium heat. Add the red onions and bell peppers and cook until soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the Liquid Aminos to the pan and quickly stir for about 15 seconds. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl.

Cover the bowl and transfer it to a refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.

In a food processor, add the hearts of palm. Pulse to a coarse, even consistency, but do not purée them. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the chilled veggies, 1 ½ cups of the panko, the vegan mayonnaise, and green onions and mix well. Form into 8 cakes and roll them in the remaining 1 cup panko.

In a wide skillet, melt the vegan butter over medium-high heat. Add as many cakes as will comfortably fit in the pan and fry them for 4 minutes per side. Repeat this process until you have cooked all the cakes.

Serve each cake with a dollop of the dill mayo.