NEW YORK, N.Y. – Simplicity of cooking is key during these hot, often humid days, and if at all possible, it’s best to steer clear of the oven! For some, salad makes a fine meal, while others think it’s not enough. So how do you successfully navigate this predicament?
Bulking up a “skinny salad” with pasta or other style of grain, legumes, nuts and cheese, will help to make it a complete meal, partnered with summer’s bounty of fresh produce. Incorporating shellfish, cooked in a citrus marinade to make “ceviche,” adds zesty flavor and satisfying meaty texture.
Here’s an easy southwest style shrimp and scallop ceviche salad. You can also cook calamari in this way, even salmon, tuna, swordfish, tilapia or other firm white-flesh fish, cut into bite-size pieces. Some suggestions when preparing ceviche: use the freshest citrus (lime, lemon, orange or a combination) and fish. It’s also best to marinate fish for several hours, until opaque. If you’re a bit squeamish about this process, we’d suggest poaching the fish and shellfish first, for a few minutes. And always use porcelain to marinate.
Southwest Seafood Ceviche Salad
1/2 cup combination of fresh lime and lemon juice with, if you’d like, pinch of sweet chili sauce (or without the sweet, Tabasco pepper sauce)
2 teaspoons each coarse ground sea salt and black pepper
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 pound sea scallops
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Combine all ingredients in porcelain dish, making sure shellfish is completely immersed in juice. Cover the dish and refrigerate 4 hours until shellfish is opaque (if fish and shellfish are poached, 2 hours). Drain and combine with the following:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
¼ pound (1 cup) Jarlsberg cheese, cubed
½ cup chopped jicama or yellow pepper
1 15-ounce can black beans, thoroughly rinsed, drained and dried
2 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
Top with fried tortilla strips (or have tortilla chips alongside) and serve with guacamole and salsa. Note: for this dish, you can also use ¼ pound each scallops and shrimp with ½ pound tuna or swordfish, cut into bite-size pieces.
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