Many years ago I travelled in the South Pacific where I was thrilled to be served ceviche at nearly every meal. There it is made with many different local fish which are marinated in lime juice and coconut milk. Often garnished with a variety of flowers, peppers or zest, these ceviches were inspiring to me. Back home in my midwestern kitchen I developed similar ceviches with the fish I have available that is flown in fresh. Scallops are available to me, wild caught, dry packed and fairly priced. I like to use Meyer lemon when they are around because they are so sweet and juicy. Of course, limes are delicious too although it takes more limes to get enough juice. The coconut mellows the citrus and gives it a wonderful mouthfeel. —Fabulous Food Fanatic
2 as a main, 4 as an appetizer
dry scallops (8-10#)
medium bulb Fennel
large, peeled and seeded Roma or other flavorful fresh tomato
1 1/2 to 2 cups
broccoli flowers with stems cut very short
Clean the scallops and remove the connective joint piece. Place the scallops on a paper towel and slice them across in three sections (like coins). Place the slices in a small to medium glass baking dish.
Remove the zest from one entire lemon with a microplane or other zester. Distribute the zest over the sliced scallops.
Squeeze and strain the juice from both the lemons. Combine the juice with the coconut milk and add some kosher salt to taste. You should have about two cups of liquid as Meyer Lemons are very juicy. If not, add more coconut milk to increase your liquid to two cups. Add the cumin (or mild paprika). Spread this liquid over the scallops and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1-4 hours.
Break up the broccoli into bite sized flowers. Blanch in boiling, salted water briefly. Remove to a colander and cool immediately with cold water. Drain and set aside in a bowl.
Clean and trim the bottom from the fennel bulb. Using a mandoline or good sharp knife, thinly shave the fennel. Combine and lightly toss with the broccoli. Add the Jalapeno pepper and toss. You can cut the jalapeno crosswise or julienne. Just be sure to take out the seeds and membrane. You can substitute hotter or milder peppers, according to your taste.
Chop the tomato in small pieces. Set aside.
Clean, pick over and spin the lettuce to dry it well. Tear it into small pieces.
To plate this salad, place a bed of lettuce on the dish. In the middle, add a generous portion of the other vegetables, scattering the tomatoes on top of the entire pile of vegetables . On top of all this, place the scallops in a neat bunch. Spoon the sauce over the scallops and vegetables, to your taste. Garnish and serve with some nice crusty buttered bread.