|Scallop Ceviche with Finger Limes|
In the depths of Australia an unassuming citrus grows in the rainforest. They grow to be several inches long and in inch or so in diameter, and come in every shade of red, pink, yellow, and green. When you break them open out tumble citrus caviar or pearls like an erupting volcano that bursts with lime flavour. I have longed to try these "citrus pop rocks" and was delighted to come across these little jewels at our local Choices. The pulp inside these gherkin-shaped "ugly ducklings" of the citrus world is made of hundreds of tiny balls of juice or vesicles; edible bubbles that literally burst between your teeth.
These days there are a handful of growers in California cultivating finger limes but the rest are still shipped from "down under." You no longer need to be a scientist or from Australia to taste these legendary finger limes.
For my first foray into cooking with these little treasures I decided upon a classical Scallop Ceviche. If you dice the scallops they will take little time to "cook" in the lime juice. I served them in tiny glasses and topped each with these juicy pearls. More finger limes were served on the side for guests to appreciate this taste sensation to its fullest.
POW! You are hit with a surprising burst of citrus flavour that pops on the tongue like caviar, releasing a flavour that combines lemon and lime with green and herbaceous notes. The rind is also quite aromatic. I hope you also have the opportunity to try these elusive citrus. I have a feeling they will become very popular.
**Scallop Ceviche with Finger Limes**
1 pound bay scallops, finely diced
8 limes, juiced ( I added some freshly squeezed lemon juice to completely cover the scallops)
2 tomatoes, diced
¼ cup red onion or shallots, finely diced
½ green bell pepper, minced
¼ cup cucumber, finely diced
½ red pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Rinse scallops and place in a medium sized bowl. Dice the scallops finely. Pour lime juice over the scallops. The scallops should be completely immersed in the lime juice. Chill the lime juice and scallops for at least a half hour or longer until the scallops are opaque (you cannot see through them). This means they are "cooked."
Empty 1/2 of the lime juice from the bowl. Add cucumber, onion, cucumber, green and red bell peppers, parsley, black pepper, olive oil, and cilantro to the scallop mixture. Stir gently. Serve this dish in fancy glasses with a slice of lime hanging over the rim for effect if you like. If you have finger limes squeeze "pearls" onto the top of each serving glass. Serve extra finger limes for each guest.
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