Seviche, a South American raw seafood dish, is settling comfortably among the vegetables.
Seviche's basic ingredient is raw fish, cut into bite-size pieces and marinated in an acidic fruit juice (usually lime), salt and seasonings (usually chili peppers). Because the flavors of a seviche marinade work just as well for vegetables as for seafood, vegetarian seviches make great summertime fare.
With produce at its peak, this is the season to make a batch of vegetable seviche, also spelled ceviche. Simply replace the seafood with fresh mozzarella, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, cauliflower, tofu or tempeh. You can use any kind of vegetable you like.
The lunch buffet at Natasha's Bistro offers a vegetarian seviche.
"It's tropical, and spicy elements are mixed like a salad on the cold side," owner Gene Williams said. "We use a dressing of citrus with something salty and crispy, maybe a fried plantain or fried chickpeas, mixed with cucumbers and a citrus dressing."
After a trip to your back-yard garden or farmers market, try these recipes.
Ranada Riley, daytime buffet chef at Natasha's, created these vegetarian seviches.
Ranada's Peruvian vegetarian seviche
1 can (15 ounces) hearts of palm, sliced into rings
1 English cucumber, diced
2 heirloom tomatoes, diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
1/2 jalapeno, finely diced
4-5 red radishes, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Juice of two limes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
Combine diced vegetables. Mix together remaining ingredients for dressing. Toss vegetables with dressing and let marinate for a couple of minutes. Serves 6 to 8.
Jicama, carrot and green apple slaw
2 jicama, peeled and finely julienned
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 green apples, diced, skin on
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoon mint, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons jalapeños, finely chopped (optional)
Mix chopped fruit and vegetables. Mix olive oil, cumin, salt, sugar, mint cilantro and jalapenos, if using. Toss fruit and vegetables in dressing and let marinate a few minutes. Serves 6 to 8.
This recipe is from Beverly Hills Farm Girl blogger Dana Slatkin, at 90210farmgirl.com.
Summer vegetable seviche
1 pound assorted fresh vegetables of your choice, cut into bite-sized pieces (tomatoes, corn off the cob, hearts of palm, bell pepper, avocado, cucumber, jicama, zucchini, blanched asparagus, pea pods, broccoli, cauliflower)
1 ounce fresh basil, mint and/or cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 juicy lemons)
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
½ teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 large clove)
½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
½ teaspoon ground chili powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
Micro greens or sprouts, for garnish
Blue corn chips, for serving
In a large mixing bowl, combine vegetables and chopped herbs.
Prepare seviche dressing: Shake all ingredients in a jar or whisk together in a small bowl. Pour a little over the vegetables and taste for seasoning, adding more dressing as needed. Divide among serving glasses or transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with a pinch of micro greens or sprouts, and serve immediately, with corn chips on the side if desired.The following recipes are from Vegweb.com.
Black bean mango seviche
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large mango, skin removed and diced (under-ripe ones work perfectly for this)
1 long chili pepper, seeds removed and minced
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoon lime zest
3 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar
Cilantro, chopped, to taste
Salt, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let marinate at least overnight. Makes 4 servings.
Water (enough to cook the cauliflower)
1 medium cauliflower head
Salt to taste
Juice of 4 to 6 lemons
2 to 3 cucumbers
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coriander to taste
Boil the water and cook the cauliflower with a little salt. When the cauliflower is tender (but not too tender) let it cool and chop it really fine. Dice the onion in very small pieces and add the juice of the lemons; let mixture rest while dicing the other vegetables as small as you can. Mix all the vegetables with the onion and cauliflower. Add salt to taste and olive oil. Mix again and let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour before you serve it. Makes 4 servings.
Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog: Flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com.