winter ceviche {ffwd}

Winter Ceviche

This week’s selection for French Fridays with Dorie was Winter Ceviche, a quick appetizer that brought a little tropical tease to my kitchen located in the deep freeze of New England.

Ceviche is a preparation for raw fish or seafood which is then “cooked” for a few hours in an acidic marinade. This version started with bay scallops, which are much smaller than the more familiar sea scallops. Bay scallops are seasonal, and I hadn’t seen them around in a while, but I got lucky and found them at my first stop (Whole Foods). They were half the price of sea scallops and because I only needed 6 to make a half recipe, they only set me back $2.25. Miraculous!

The marinade is made from fresh lemon and lime juice plus the lemon and lime zest, some mango nectar and a touch of brown sugar. The scallops are refrigerated in this acidic fruit bath for a few hours to “cook”. In the meantime, thinly sliced shallots are lightly doused in vinegar for a pickled garnish.

Ceviche "Cooking"

Ceviche “Cooking”

At serving time, all that’s left to do is toss some tarragon leaves with oil and divide them amongst the plates. Then using a slotted spoon, transfer the scallops to the bed of leaves. Dip some halved grapes into the remaining marinade and add to the plate, then top it all with the pickled shallots. As they say in France, “Voilà!”

This ceviche provides a good basic formula. I think it would be equally delicious with another white fish or shrimp, raw or cooked. Or I might try substituting different herbs like parsley, cilantro, or even arugula in place of the tarragon. Some thinly sliced chili would be at home too.

I hope I remember this recipe next time I have a seated dinner party where I want to serve a plated first course. (By the way, don’t overestimate my entertaining skills. A plated first course would put me in much fancier territory than my usual dinner parties which begin at the kitchen island with a help-yourself assortment of cheese and crackers and dips, chosen so I can socialize with the guests while I finish up dinner.)

To see the ceviches whipped up by my Dorista friends, check out their links here. We don’t post the recipes, but you can find it in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.


Posted on 6 February 2015, in Fish, French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I love the description of your first course, sounds like our house. It is difficult sometimes to get all to the table. But, fun, anyway. That is a lovely presentation, glad you enjoyed it.

  2. I never serve courses… I’m a family style kinda of person, but this would be impressive as a first course..maybe in someone’s home that has nice dishes (you know like Trevor or Andrea). Glad you enjoyed it and got a good price on your fish.

  3. peggygilbey814628432

    This looks like a lovely dish. It seems you got a good buy on the scallops, I am defrosting some this weekend for another purpose but they were quite pricey, as they seem to have been for a number of years now. Like your first course idea. Stay warm!

  4. Oh, Betsy, what a great post. You had some wonderful phrases and word choices woven in and among your raw fish. I liked your small dish. The Winter Ceviche looked very snug and comfortable and appetizing in it. Glad you liked it and bravo to Howard for at least getting his Vitamin C. I wish you could send a little of those snow mounds and piles to us in California. The drought is catatrophic and this year, will be a turning point for the Cali landscape as we know it if there isn’t more rain. Stay warm, you two and pooch.

  5. I do generally the same thing, Betsy, in terms of first course entertaining. I am going to serve the ceviche for some friends tonight, but I’m putting it in cocktail glasses so they can eat it standing around. :) Photos look beautiful and I’ll echo the wishes to stay warm! You all have gotten really slammed the last few weeks!

  6. Our entertaining habits sounds similar:-) My pre-dinner nibbles are rarely fancier than store-bought cocktail nuts and, unless you count dessert, I don’t think that I’ve ever served a meal in courses. I think it’s good to leave things that I can aspire to.

  7. thekitchenlioness

    Betsy, what a nice post – I could not find scallops to my liking and used wild salmon instead and we liked this recipe – I agree with you on the part where I would love to remember this recipe when we have guests. Nice presentation with the red grapes and you put it so well “a little tropical tease”….hope that the winter weather around you has eased up a bit!
    Wishing you and Howard a wonderful weekend,

  8. LOL- you had me indeed at plated first course. Glad you both enjoyed it and of course, I am also delighted that the recipe testing did not require a mortgage payment this week. Esp when we were in the land of seafood lately. I agree about the citrus adding a boost of summer – welcome in PA and likely even more welcome considering the snow you continue to get. It has to stop eventually…..

  9. I like your style of entertaining, Betsy! Even though I do enjoy a plated first course…we don’t usually eat that way either! It’s much more fun to enjoy your company! Your description of the seafood ceviche makes me wish I had made it, and I don’t even like raw seafood!
    I just heard the weather report, and it looks like you’re going to get slammed again! Stay warm and safe. We leave to go south the end of the week! Looking forward to no snow!

  10. We really loved this one – I think this sauce would be great with shrimp, too. That’s mostly the way we do appetizers, too!

  11. I love the idea of making this for a dinner party and serving it in mini-glass dishes (perhaps a third of a cup of the ceviche mixture…) P.S. There is nothing wrong with cheese and crackers!

    Stay warm (and safe)

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