Monday, May 21, 2012

A Verdant Delish: Ceviche Verde & Spring in Maine

Ceviche Verde
This weekend.  I can only sigh.  This weekend made up for the past three months of wishy-washy-almost-springtime weather here in Maine.  It was warm enough to sit outside all afternoon (and get a small sunburn), but yet mild enough to sit outside all afternoon.  We grilled.  We anti-pasto'd.  We drank shameless amounts of margaritas and chilled white wine.  We smoked hookahs.  And Marcus and Becky came over (and camped in a tent in our backyard (!) ) with their two dogs, so the company was good and Roman had a field-day with "his" new pets.  There was even strawberry shortcake with homemade whipped cream thrown into the mix.  It was nothing short of glorious.

Add to that the fact that Maine was in full springtime splendor.  At this time last year we were basking in the beauty of Munjoy Hill and the Eastern Promenade so we never got to see our yard at this time of year; we moved in at the end of June.  And while a part of me misses that lovely neighborhood still, I have loved watching all the plants re-grow and blossom in our yard.  The back of our house faces onto woods which in the winter are bare and show all the houses and roads on either side of us, but in the spring and summer the woods are lush and green and beautiful, making our yard almost entirely private on one side.  The grass, which is probably the bane of Matt's existence, is beautifully riddled with wild dandelions and clovers (much more to my taste than a cookie-cutter lawn) that grow back almost within hours of being mowed.  And there are all sorts of interesting flowers and leaves and little creatures displaying their plumage at each and every corner of our beautiful little piece of Portland.  The whole thing is very idyllic, really.

Anyway, among the many wonderful things we ate this weekend, there was one dish that was left out.  It was left out simply because we ran out of time and stomach, not because I didn't desperately want to make it.  So, having a couple of perfectly ripe avocados left over, I decided to make it today - another beautiful late-spring day: Ceviche Verde.  Green Ceviche.  It represents Spring in many ways - its freshness, its acidity, its green-ness.  It's a recipe I found on by accident and I must admit I had my doubts about it, but I am a full convert now.  It will make the perfect easy, light, and delicious dinner I began dreaming of after my walk around Back Cove today.

But first, here are the top five pictures from this weekend, in pictorial list form.

*  *  *

Top Five Springtime Moments and Memories
from this past weekend :)

The Crazy Antipasto Lunch
Bubbles with Daddy

Pretty flowers in the garden

Bubbles with Uncle Marcus


Roman & Orzo

*  *  * 

 Green Spring Ceviche: Ceviche Verde
Serves 2 as a Main
Serves 4 as an Appetizer

This couldn't be easier to make.  I changed the original recipe linked above (from La Gloria in San Antonio, TX) by using bay scallops instead of halibut.  I also used a Serrano instead of a jalapeno but you can use whichever you prefer, keeping in mind that Serrano chiles are definitely hotter.  I increased the amount of lime juice because I found 3 tbsps to be an absurdly small amount of lime for 1 lb of fish meat.  Definitely a keeper, this one.

1 pound bay scallops
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
3-4 limes, juiced
1-2 ripe avocados, peeled,  pitted & diced
3/4 cup green olives, quartered
1/2 cup tomatillos, washed & diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 serrano chile, stemmed and minced (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil

*Tostadas or tortilla chips for serving

1. Place bay scallops in medium bowl. Add salt; toss to coat. Add lime juice; toss to coat. Marinate until the edges of the cubes begin to turn opaque, tossing occasionally, at least 1-2 hours.

2. Add avocados to bowl along with green olives, tomatillos, onion, cilantro, and the serrano if you like some heat. Add olive oil and season to taste with salt.

Serve over tostadas or with tortilla chips for dipping.
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