Seviche of salmon with avocado, green chile and pink grapefruit
Recipe from “Balancing flavors east & west” by Tom Kime
2005, D K Publishing
By, Newbie Foodie – Western Market – 447 W. 9 Mile in Ferndale – www.westernmarket.net
“Balancing flavors east & west,” a cookbook by British Chef Tom Kime is based on the principle of mixing unique ingredients to create food that appeal to our entire palate. He recommends that “when the four main tastes of hot, sour, salty and sweet are present and in balance in a dish or meal, the end result is delicious because it satisfies all the taste buds at once.” The book gives many tips for how to incorporate equalizing flavors into food, as well as information on how we taste, and advice for how to better enjoy the food that we eat.
One thing I like to do when I get a new cookbook is to open it up to a random page and try the recipe that comes up. That’s how I picked the seviche of salmon with avocado, green chile and pink grapefruit. I didn’t really like it, but it was a lot of fun to make and I appreciate the principles behind it. I think it’s going to take my mouth a while to recover from the years of soda pop, pizza and burgers that I grew up on. I hope that other people try it, and let us know what you think.
Buying salmon was a new experience for me. Lewis, one of the friendly clerks in the Western Market meat department said they carried both farm-raised salmon and ocean-raised. I opted for ocean-raised. The disadvantage is that ocean-raised can be more susceptible to having mercury, but farm-raised salmon swim around in tight quarters and surrounded by their own waste. Although he says that both taste very good and the price difference is nominal.
Salmon is displayed with the skin on, and if you’re grilling salmon or baking it it’s best to leave the skin on while you cook it because that is where the most nutrients and fat are, which will cook down into the meat. But for a cold salad, such as a seviche, the “cooking” is done by curing the meat in acid – in this case the juice of the lime and grapefruit.
(to serve 4-6)
1 pound salmon fillet
2 pink grapefruits
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 ripe avocados, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
2 green chiles, seeded and finely chopped
3 scallions, finely chopped
2 handfuls of arugula
Small handful of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
Remove all skin, bones and any gray flesh from the underside of the salmon. Remove any brown colored flesh from the rest of the salmon. Cut into thin slices.
Holding the grapefruit over a bowl to catch the juice, cut down on both sides of the membrane to release the grapefruit segments. Squeeze the membranes over a bowl to release as much juice as possible.
Segment tow of the limes in the same way as the grapefruit. Mix their juice with that of the third lime and add to the grapefruit juice with the olive oil and set aside.
Mix the avocado with the grapefruit and lime segments. Season well with salt and pepper.
Season the salmon with salt and pepper and place in a bowl. Pour in the juice mixture and add the chiles and scallions.
Coat both sides of the salmon wit the marinade before leaving it to soak for about five minutes, or until it starts to go pale and the texture softens. (*Note – when I made this 5 minutes was not long enough. Other seviche recipes call for marinade times of between 30 min and 4 hours. So use your own judgment based on how it tastes to you. Finished salmon should be pale and soft.)
When the salmon has turned pale, add the avocado and citrus fruit segments to the bowl, along with the arugula and cilantro. Toss gently to mix so you do not break up the avocado or salmon. Check the seasoning. Serve with toasted pita bread or ciabatta.