I always shake my head when us crazy vegan people make recipes where half the ingredients are in quotes: Roast “Beef” Sandwich with Swiss “Cheese” and Chipotle “Mayo”! but nevertheless, here I am with these “Mozzarella” sticks that are really made from hearts of palm.
About a year ago I went to an awesome vegan restaurant in LA called Sage and I had these heart of palm “mozzarella” sticks that were amazing, but fried and oily. Since I try to stay away from oil, it has been on my list ever sense to try making a baked version and I’m so glad I finally got around to it because these are super delicious.
They key to making something like this taste great when baked, instead of fried, is a good breading. If you have good flavors and consistency in that area, they’ll be tasty even if they aren’t drenched in oil. To that end, this batter has pulverized cashews and nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor along with more traditional breadcrumbs and spices. Simply bread the hearts of palm and bake until crispy for a really amazing appetizer.
Makes: 4 servings
- 12-15 heart of palm “sticks” (~2 inches each) in brine
- 1/4 cup raw cashews, pulverized
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1-2 tablespoons dried parsley, optional
- Marinara sauce, for serving
Prep: Preheat the oven to 375º F
In a powerful blender, add the cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Blend until the cashews are pulverized into a powder. Add this mixture to a bowl and combine with the breadcrumbs and parsley (dried herbs are nice because they give the beige coating a more exciting look, but they really don’t add much flavor).
Grab your hearts of palm from the can/jar and rinse thoroughly, then dip each one into the batter with one hand and use the other (dry) hand to transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. When you’re done (you should have enough batter for at least 15 sticks), pop them in the oven for about 45 minutes until the batter just starts to darken.
You won’t get the same kind of dark golden color that you would by frying, but you can put them right under the broiler for 45-90 seconds to get a little more crispiness if needed.
Serve with your favorite marinara sauce. They actually keep quite well and can easily be reheated the next day in the microwave or oven.