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Heart of Palm Fettuccine, Popcorn Powder, Parmesan

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Chef Alex Atala surprises with a unique way of serving sustainable heart of palms to his guests at D.O.M restaurant. A modernist take on fettuccini made of heart of palms paired with butter, sage, zucchini and popcorn powder...yes, popcorn powder! It’ll be a favorite no matter who’s eating it. Thank you, Chef Atala for sharing this modernist recipe with us!

Alex Atala is the chef-owner of the 6th best restaurant in the world D.O.M. and named by Times as one of the World’s Top 100 Most Influential People. You can read more about the world's most interesting chef here.

heart-of-palm-fettuccine by Alex Atala



Ingredients (serves 4)

- 1 kg (35 oz) heart of palm

- 1 small zucchini

- Canola oil

- 100 g (3 ½ oz.) broken corn (quirera)

- 10 ml (2 tsp) clarified butter - to make it, melt butter in low heat for about 45 minutes, always removing the impurities. Strain twice on a clean sheet.

- 60 g (2.1 oz.) unsalted butter

- 15 sage leaves

- 50 g  (1.8 oz.) Parmesan cheese, cut in fine blades

- Salt


Popcorn Powder

1 - Heat ½-inch of canola oil in a high sided, heavy bottomed pan until it reaches 180°C (355°F).

2 - Fry the broken corn in batches until it opens like popcorn.

3 - Remove with a slotted spoon and set it on kitchen towels to cool.

4 - Pulse in a food processor until it turns to powder.

5 - Sieve twice and season with salt.

6 - Set aside.

Fettuccine Preparation

1 - Remove the heart of palm’s bark (if any).

2 - Cut the heart of palm in fine strips using a mandoline, so that it resembles fettuccine.

3 - Blanch the fettuccine strips in boiling salted water for one minute.


Zuccini Preparation

1 - Cut the zucchini into thin rounds.

2 - Heat the clarified butter in a frying pan over high heat.

3 - Sear one side of four separate rounds of zucchini.

Tossing Fettuccine with butter and sage

1 - Carefully clean out the pan with a paper towel and then melt the unsalted butter over medium heat until it turns slightly brown and foamy (brown butter).

2 - Add the sage and then the blanched heart of palm and toss to combine.

3 - Taste for seasoning, adding salt if necessary.

Assemble and Serve

1 - Place a portion of the heart of palm fettuccine in the center of each plate.

2 - Put one seared zucchini round on one side of the fettuccine and a long shaving of Parmesan on the other.

3 - Garnish with the popcorn powder.

4 – Serve Immediately

  • MetaCook

    I tried making this dish. I had difficulty making the fettucine from the heart of palm with a mandolin. I got the heart of palm from a can in which the heart of palms were soaked in water. They did not do well with the mandolin as at one point they would all get smushed up. I tried freezing them for a few hours but that did not help. How do you get real nice fettucine from the heart of palm with the mandolin? do you have to dry them out first? From what I was able to get and following the recipe, the tastes were amazing! Loved the popcorn powder with the sage butter sauce!

    • MetaCook

      Well. . . after researching you need to use FRESH heart of palm to make this work. Hard to find locally anywhere except maybe Florida and Hawaii. BUT it can be ordered online.

    • QuantumChef

      Fresh heart of palms are probably the best for this but they are hard to get. You may want to try other brands and pick those which are a little firmer.

  • Richard Richardsen

    Actually this stuff has been around for a very long time..just not where most folks would see it. Heart of Palm ( Palmito ) noodles are popular in the Amazon area. The river people cut them from the fresh heart in their kitchens just prior to cooking. They are usually served in an alfredo sauce made from queso fresco.