There’s nothing like a summer breakup to make you feel all young again. Last week, a friend and I parted ways, and though I saw it coming for months, I wasn’t prepared for the teenager-like symptoms that hit me soon after: the moping, the zits, the loss of appetite. For the past few days, I just haven’t been myself.
So I got busy cooking. Luckily, I had a brand new cookbook on my counter, Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook. It was the perfect distraction, and I sat down and perused it cover to cover.
It’s a spectacular book, crammed with the celebrated chef Matsuhisa’s imaginative vegetable musings and glorious photos. Just as I was starting to get hungry again, I came across a recipe for vegetable ceviche. Turns out the refreshing, citrusy seafood standard adapts to just about any vegetable of your liking — hearts of palm, summer corn and tomatoes, blanched asparagus, jicama, avocado, you name it.
I’ve adapted Matsuhisa’s Asian-Peruvian recipe here, substituting some hard-to-find ingredients such as yuzu juice and aji amarillo (a Peruvian pepper) with orange juice and chile powder. Serve it in cocktail glasses or as a refreshing salad for a summer soirée. You can add black beans or chunks of seared tofu for protein, and the flavor-charged dressing perks up greens as well.
There’s one friendship I won’t be reaching for any time soon, but one cookbook I certainly will.
Serves 4-6 as an appetizer
1 pound assorted fresh vegetables of your choice, cut into bite-sized pieces (tomatoes, corn off the cob, hearts of palm, bell pepper, avocado, cucumber, jicama, zucchini, blanched asparagus, pea pods, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)
1 ounce fresh basil, mint, and/or cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 juicy lemons)
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 large clove)
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground chile powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
Micro greens or sprouts, for garnish; blue corn chips, for serving
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the vegetables and chopped herbs.
2. Prepare the Ceviche Dressing: shake all the ingredients in a jar or whisk together in a small bowl.
3. Pour a little dressing over the vegetables and taste for seasoning, adding more dressing as needed. Divide among serving glasses or transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with a pinch of micro greens or sprouts and serve immediately, with corn chips on the side if desired.
Disclaimer: I received Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook as a gift; however, no review was solicited. This post may contain affiliate links. All content is unsponsored, uncensored, and undeniably honest.
You can still enter the Summer Cooking Contest for a chance to win one of these chic wooden serving bowls!
Photo credit: MexicanAuthenticRecipes.com