Hearts of Baltimore “Crab Cakes”


These unique “crab cakes” use chopped hearts of palm instead of crab, but otherwise feature the same flavors of the classic dish. This recipe comes to us from Ayinde Howell and Zoe Eisenberg, authors of The Lusty Vegan: A Cookbook and Relationship Manifesto for Vegans and Those Who Love Them.

Serves 2

For the Garlicky Dill Aioli

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

For the Crab Cakes

  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or safflower oil, divided, plus more for frying
  • 1 (14-ounce) can hearts of palm, (not packed in sugar), roughly chopped to the consistency of crab meat
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons seafood seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

For the Breading

  • 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs, or more
  • 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

To make the Garlicky Dill Aïoli

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste. Set in the fridge to keep cool.

To make the Crab Cakes:

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the hearts of palm and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook until golden brown on all sides. Set aside to cool. Add the celery and peppers and mix well.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over medium-heat heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

Remove from the heat, add to the hearts of palm, and mix well. Add the seafood seasoning, cornstarch, and mayo.

Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and mix well. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then shape the mixture into four round patties.

Breading: In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and seafood seasoning, stirring to mix. Coat the patties with the breadcrumb mixture and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Heat about 3 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium- high heat until hot and shimmering. Carefully place the patties in the skillet and cook until golden brown on each side, approximately 2 minutes per side. Watch closely to prevent burning. Transfer the cooked patties to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil. Serve hot, topped with the aïoli, with lemon wedges on the side.

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Nutrition Information

Hearts of Baltimore “Crab Cakes”

Servings per Recipe: 2

Amount per Serving

Calories:  481

Calories from Fat:  374

Total Fat:  41g

Saturated Fat:  2g

Cholesterol:  0mg

Sodium:  1231mg

Potassium:  177mg

Carbohydrates:  24g

Dietary Fiber:  4g

Protein:  5g

Sugars:  3g

Vitamin A:  10%

Vitamin C:  78%

Calcium:  4%

Iron:  11%

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