Ceviche is a dish generally made with raw fish or shrimp that is marinated by the acid in lime or lemon juice. I don't eat fish, raw or otherwise. This is a vegetarian version in which cauliflower substitutes for the fish. But don't worry, the cauliflower is diced so small and absorbs so many other flavors, it is unrecognizable. Trust me, I'm not a huge fan, and my carnivore boyfriend loves it. The idea from this came from a coworker who brought in some leftover vegetarian ceviche made by his mother. Needless to say it was outstanding. I got impatient waiting for his mother's recipe, so I created my own from what I remember as the ingredients. With all the fresh veggies, I imagine this would be crazy-good for you if it wasn't eaten with tortilla chips. Get your best chopping knife and get started!
Preparation takes a bit of time, but it's easily made ahead and kept in the fridge.
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 3-4 limes depending on juicieness (Lemons work, too. Or, try a combination.)
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 2-3 serrano chilies (or jalapenos)
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt to taste
1. Separate the cauliflower into florets. Try to get them uniform in size.
2. Use raw cauliflower and skip this step! Or, blanch the cauliflower in boiling, salted water for about 3 minutes. Immediately drain and place in an ice-water bath to stop cooking.
3. Once cauliflower is cool, it's time to chop. Dice fairly small, less then 1/4 inch is good. Also try to keep as uniform as possible.
4. Place diced cauliflower in a non-reactive bowl (glass, ceramic, stainless). Add enough lime juice to coat all the cauliflower and pool up in the bottom. You want it very wet because you'll be adding more to the juice. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
5. After about 1 1/2 hours, begin preparing the rest of the ingredients. Collect all the chopped ingredients in a bowl to add at once to the cauliflower. It's best to chop everything about the same size, with the chilies and garlic being smallest. Prepare yourself! Don your so-stylish, eye-saving Onion Goggles. Dice the onion very small (try for about 1/4 inch, or roughly the size of your cauliflower).
6. Quarter the tomatoes lengthwise and remove the seeds before dicing.
7. The easiest way for me to mince chilies: First cut off the stems. Cut chili in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out seeds and ribs. Cut matchstick strips lengthwise, then perpendicular. Wash your hands before touching eyes!
9. Chop the cilantro. Add the onion, tomatoes, chilies, and cilantro to the cauliflower and stir. Add the crushed garlic and 1/4 teaspoon cumin. Start with 1 teaspoon salt then add more to your taste.
10. Place back in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour for best flavor. This is one of those dishes that is better the longer it sits.
Serve with chips. Enjoy a healthy, flavorful dip!