24 June 2010

Is My Face Red (and White) with Baby Scallops Ceviche in Radicchio Cups

Baby Scallops Ceviche in Radicchio Cups

Today I am continuing with my "Is My Face Red (and White)" challenge. Canada Day is fast approaching and as stated in this previous post not only will we be wearing red and white T-shirts and sun hats at the MTBT household (the colours of the Canadian flag) this year, but, we will also be enjoying a feast of red and white dishes... from appetizers to dessert.  I have dreamed up a red and white menu that would make our ancestors proud and one that celebrates the Canadian spirit. After all what is a celebration without food!!! And what is Canada Day without red and white somewhere in the picture, or as in this case the star of the show. My lead up to Canada Day with my red and white menu begins with some lofty appetizers. I will share the final meal on Canada Day with the main dish and dessert...all dressed in their best red and white finery.

First up in our patriotic menu was a Tomato Salad with Pickled Shallots and Goat Cheese Crouton . We next moved on to a classic Spanish-inspired tapas of Romesco with Grilled Bread and Shrimp. Now for our final appetizer I am making a ceviche of baby scallops perfect for these energy-zapping, humid and hot summer days. Ceviche is an old tradition in South America, dating back to the earliest inhabitants. The Incas preserved their fish with fruit juice, salt and chile peppers, and later the Spanish conquerors introduced the now essential limes. You marinate the scallops in lime juice to "cook" them. It looks beautiful, tastes even better and is pretty simple to make. Could it be that easy? Yes it could!The creamy white of the baby scallops and cucumber, the purplish red of the red onions and radicchio...this is a winner!

In British Columbia, the primary species of scallop farmed is a Japanese/weathervane hybrid scallop  known as the Pacific or Qualicum scallop. In Eastern Canada, the giant or sea scallop and the Northern Bay Scallop are the primary species farmed. Scallop farming is, by definition, green and sustainable. Scallops cannot tolerate the discharge of sewage or other toxins; the presence of scallop farming, therefore, often results in increased awareness and monitoring of coastal waters.

Chicory balances the sweetness of the scallops in the filling with a bitter bite. Some varieties of radicchio grow in a ball-shaped head that makes round lettuce cups, while the elongated Treviso variety, which looks like red Belgian endive, creates boat-shaped cups. You could use white or red endive, as well. If bitter flavors aren’t your thing, use smaller leaves of red leaf or butter lettuce.

Of course you don't have to be Canadian to enjoy these summertime favourites. You just have to have a love of good food which as bloggers I know you do!!!Each recipe uses fresh local ingredients and celebrates our local producers and farmers. I can't think of a better way to celebrate Canada or any country in the world than to take pride in what we have to offer from coast to coast.

What red and white dish would you make? What dish would you make in the colours of your own flag?

** Baby Scallops Ceviche in Radicchio Cups**
Adapted from Las Ventanas al Paraiso

1 pound, 5 ounces cleaned bay scallops
3/4 cup lime juice (from about 8 limes)
1/3 cup minced red onion
1/3 cup seeded and diced tomato
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber
1 seeded and diced jalapeño, or to taste
Scant 1 cup diced cilantro, from about 1 bunch
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium heads round or Treviso radicchio

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, marinate the scallops in the lime juice for 30 minutes, covered and refrigerated, tossing every 10 minutes.

Strain and save the lime juice. Stir in the onion, tomato, cucumber, jalapeño and cilantro. Stir in the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper, and add back lime juice to taste as desired.

Cut the core from the radicchio and carefully pull apart the leaves. For the first few, you will need to roll back the edges to peel them off the head without tearing them. If you are using Treviso, cut off the bottom inch of the head and the leaves should easily fall apart. The larger leaves are best for plated presentations, while the smaller ones work well as finger food for hors d’oeuvres. Trim the largest leaves if needed to make them more manageable. (To make ahead, place in a resealable container with a damp paper towel over the radicchio, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.)

To serve, spoon the scallop ceviche mixture into the radicchio cups and garnish each with a sprig of cilantro. After you have filled the leaves, stack any remaining ones, roll them up into a tight cigar shape, and cut crosswise into thin ribbons to use as a bed for your platter or entrée-size salad. Arrange the cups on the platter and garnish with additional ribbons of radicchio, cilantro sprigs, and small bunches of grapes, if you used them.

Serves 4

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  1. How fun!! And what a light, delicious summer meal! You represent well ;) I'd have to think a bit on my red, white and blue dish...but a simple tater salad comes to mind using my tri-colored fingerlings....

  2. Fresh and delicious!



  3. Val, these are gorgeous. Wow. Nothing says summer like ceviche and your presentation takes it over the top.

  4. What a great idea to use the radicchio as a vessel. just beautiful.

  5. A wonderful celebration of local ingredients. It's been too long since I've made ceviche. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. I see this working equally as well with shrimp

  7. Val, this is calling my name- just gorgeous and perfect for right now. I'll have to think about that red and white!
    xoxo Pattie

  8. This is one of the prettiest presentations of Ceviche that I've ever seen. This is one of those dishes that is perfect for a summer lunch or light supper. Very nicely done, my friend. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  9. I love that these are like dressed up lettuce wraps! They sound really good...scallops make for a delicious appetizer!

  10. Now that I come to think... we Spaniards have quite a lot of dishes with our flag's colors... Happy upcoming Canada day!

  11. Oh Val, this is inspiring me to turn to a healthnut again(until I see the next dessert...sigh!!)
    Beautiful tectures and colors!!

  12. Valli Fresh and nice these look really yummy, I love the colours! huugs! gloria

  13. So many of my fresh produce favorites! Love the bitter, hot, and tangy flavors.

    We've got a big-bang hol coming up, too, but blue food is always a challenge. Your ? makes me keen to figure something out.

  14. I love ceviche and your recipes seems to be a great one! besides, the presentation in the radicchio is lovely, everything looks so fresh!

  15. Mmmm ceviche. That's the number one way to scream summer seafood.

  16. I love the presentation you are doing. Looks fabulous.

  17. colourful makes it all the more appealing!

  18. Val...you're so creative.
    Radicchio happens to be my favourite lettuce. The colors put me in such a pleasant mood that I forget the slight bitterness.

    I absolutely love how you've used them as scoopers ;o)

    Another great idea for that theme you've got going on.
    Flavouful wishes,

  19. Absolutely gorgeous! Nutritious, delicious, and economical... you are singing my song. The photograph is gorgeous, too... every time I see the title, I think - I've read that one, haven't I... then I remember your participation in the Canada Day red and white...
    The flavours in this salad, the colours, and the varying textures - as well as the gorgeous presentation - make this the winning salad of the entire 2010 season for me, to date!

  20. This looks lovely, but, for some reason, I am just not a fan of fried rice. I used to be - but it just... gets in my teeth!
    :) he he... I think it is because I love risotto so much now.

  21. Cannot resist a beautiful and stylish presentation; adore ceviches but have never had a scallop one; sounds wonderful.

  22. Great idea to use the radicchio cups. The filling is a winner but the idea to offer these little bites, awesome.

  23. Beautiful Val! We love ceviche in this family!

  24. It is said that we eat with our eyes first ... this sure makes my eyes dance and my stomach anticipate delicious bites!

  25. What a delightful summer dish. i would love to try out your cerviche recipe as i love scallops.


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