Ceviche with Heart
By Nancy Eisman
Ceviche (suh-vee-chay) is much more than just another excuse to eat tortilla chips with something zesty. It’s a refreshing and colorful mélange of fresh ingredients perfect for a late summer or anytime appetizer for sharing with friends and family.
Originating along the coast of northern Peru, nearly 2,000 years ago, ceviche is traditionally made using raw fish and seafood that “cooks” or cures when marinated in fresh lemon or lime juice. Onions, chiles, garlic, cilantro, celery, bell peppers, cucumber, avocado, some tomato component (sauce or diced), sea salt and pepper are used in various combinations is many seaside cities throughout Latin American and the Caribbean, with each locale laying claim to it’s own classic ceviche recipe. Here at Plant-Based 411 we remove the fish part of the equation and replace it with chunky, white hearts of palm, the new classic swap out to make ceviche vegan-friendly.
Be sure to evenly dice all the other ingredients so everything marinates on the same schedule, and you get the true, tart and fresh tasting experience. As an accompaniment, Peruvians serve their ceviche with corn on the cob and sweet potato chunks, so I did too.
You can find other recipes online using jackfruit, cauliflower, oyster mushrooms, etc., but I love hearts of palm in this dish and I think you will too.
P.S. If you’d still like a bit of seaside essence, sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of bouquet garni de la mer (dried sea veggies) or ground nori over the dish, toss and serve.
Hearts of Palm Ceviche
1 jar Hearts of Palm
6-8 veggie sweet peppers
1 jalapeno chile pepper
3/4 cup shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pint grape tomatoes
½ cup cilantro
Sea salt and pepper
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon bouquet garni de la mer or ground nori (optional)
1 corn on the cob, cut in chunks
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut in chunks
Drain the liquid from the jar of hearts of palm. Cut the hearts into small chunks and place in a bowl. Dice the sweet peppers, jalapeno, shallots, grape tomatoes and cilantro and add to the bowl. Squeeze the juice from the limes over the mixture, toss to combine, and then season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil over the mixture, sprinkle on the optional seasoning if desired, and stir to incorporate. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.
(Place the corn and sweet potato chunks in a pot of water, bring to a boil, and continue cooking until the sweet potato is tender. Drain and let cool to room temperature.)
*Yes, I did use a fish-shaped cookie cutter to make these scooper uppers out of fresh tortillas.