Ceviche, a dish I love to serve in hot weather, contains fish that has been marinated, or “cooked”, through the use of an acid like lemon or lime plus additional flavor elements. The cuisine comes from South America with various forms of seafood ceviche (or cebiche) varying from country to country. The acid from the citrus acts to denature, or alter, the texture of the fish.
I did a fish ceviche, picture below, in March of last year. But sometimes the freshest fish, which you need for ceviche, isn’t always readily available. Recently at a friend’s BBQ, I had this vegan ceviche where the hearts of palm stand in for the fish and it was great. Hearts of palm are exactly what they say they are: the very core, or hearts, of palm plants. Hearts of palm have a very mild flavor, similar to white asparagus or artichoke hearts. Their texture is solid and a bit crunchy, but still delicate and easy to bite through.
Try it if you enjoy vegan food or if you can’t get the best fish that day - it’s a great dish to take to a friend’s for a get-together in hot weather.
1/4 cup red onion, diced small
juice from 1–2 limes ( start with one, more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 ounce can hearts of palms, drained, rinsed
1 cup cucumber, sliced
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1/2 a jalapeno, finely diced
1/4–1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 avocado (optional)
Place the onions in a medium bowl. Squeeze with the juice of one lime and sprinkle with the salt. Mix. Let this marinate as you prep the remaining ingredients.
Drain the hearts of palm, and rinse really well. Dice into small cubes. Rinse again, set aside over a strainer. If you don’t rinse enough, the hearts of palm can have a bit of a citric acid flavor, whether you get them in a can or a jar.
Combine the garlic, cucumber, tomato. jalapeno and the cilantro. Place all over the onions in the bowl. Give a stir and add the coriander.
Fold in the hearts of palm and a drizzle of olive oil. Taste, adjust the salt and lime. I usually add more lime juice and salt. Refrigerate until serving, 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.
If you want to use chopped avocado in the ceviche, don’t add it until you serve it.
And don’t forget the tequila.