Learn how to make Vegan Scampi in Lemon Wine Sauce with fresh simple ingredients and hearts of palm instead of scallops! This recipe is elegant, full of flavor and a delicious plant-based meal!
Fill a large pasta pot with water and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, carefully slice the hearts of palm crosswise into ½-inch (1 cm) slices.
Heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. OIL-FREE OPTION: Since searing of the hearts of palm is important to the recipe, to make this without oil, I used my well seasoned cast iron skillet that I let preheat until hot. I did not need oil and as you can see in the photos, they seared beautifully. If you do NOT have a cast iron skillet or it is not well seasoned, you may need the oil or add a light amount of nonstick spray and gently wipe off the excess. You must use a nonstick pan for this option, or the hearts of palm will stick horribly and fall apart. I used a thin spatula to flip them over. Once the oil (if using) is hot, add the hearts of palm. Sprinkle with¼ teaspoon of salt and ⅛ teaspoon of pepper. NOTE: My hearts of palm were extremely salty already from the brine they were soaking in from the jar, so I just lightly sprinkled them with salt. Sear until gold brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Gently flip each slice over. I used a thin metal spatula to flip mine carefully. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and ⅛ teaspoon of pepper. Sear for another 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a plate.
Drop the pasta in the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Make sure to salt the pasta water well so that the pasta does not turn out bland.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons (28 ml) of olive oil over medium heat. I simply used broth instead. Sauté the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes until the liquid reduces by about half. Add the lemon juice and vegetable broth and simmer for 5 minutes until reduced and glossy. PLEASE SEE NOTES AT BOTTOM for the oil-free sub I did here with the broth.
Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to combine. Add the seared hearts of palm to the skillet along with the parsley and crushed red pepper flakes.
Stir together the panko bread crumbs and the nutritional yeast, if using. Sprinkle over the pasta and toss everything to combine.
FOR THE BROTH: The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons olive oil to be added to cook the garlic in, in which the broth and lemon juice is added to. The oil is what will help to make the liquid thicken some. Instead of the oil, I replaced 3 tablespooons of the broth with 3 tablespoons of canned light coconut milk. So, basically you will use 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of broth + 3 tablespoons lite coconut milk. Whisk this separately and have it ready for the recipe. You do not simply want to omit any fat or else you will just have a watery consistency, so the coconut milk helps to make it rich where the olive oil normally would. It is such a small amount, do not worry, you do not taste any coconut.
WINE REPLACEMENT: If avoiding alcohol, add 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar with the broth instead of the wine.