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Food Hunt: Summer Vegetable Ceviche

Picture: Jenny Zarins

Published: 16 Jun 2021

Eco-chef Tom Hunt brings us a summer salad with a twist. 

Ceviche is a Peruvian salad made of raw fish or vegetables dressed with a zesty and piquant liquid called ‘tiger’s milk’. It’s usually made of lime juice and a chilli called aji amarillo which you can buy in specialist shops or online. With purple potatoes, red quinoa, yellow tomatoes and green coriander this dish is vibrant and rainbow coloured. The white oyster mushrooms act like sponges, absorbing the punchy flavours. It makes for a refreshing salad, perfect for hot summer days.

Oyster mushrooms are part of an urban farming revolution which has been taking place over the last couple of decades, transforming city spaces into flourishing edible gardens. Urban farms are helping chefs and co-producers (aka the consumers) reconnect with farmers and vice versa.

Farmer-chef partnerships bypass long food chains and many of the issues that come with them, creating more direct relationships. Better communication between farmer and chef means farmers can grow what chefs need and in the best reciprocal relationships, the chefs will also buy what the farmers need to grow (rotation crops and crops suited to the land). The result is a win-win: chefs receive a better product and farmers receive a better price.

Cultivated mushrooms need relatively few resources to thrive. They grow in small dark spaces such as shipping containers on composted and recycled materials like used coffee grounds (of which we produce seven million tonnes a year) and wood shavings, which are then upcycled into fertile potting soil. You can even get home kits to grow them yourself.

 

SUMMER VEGETABLE CEVICHE

Serves 4 as a side dish, light lunch or starter

  • 50g purple potatoes, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 4 tbsp puffed grain (e.g. amaranth, quinoa, rice)
  • 60g oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 100g cherry tomatoes (yellow if available), quartered
  • Dried aji amarillo or fresh chilli, finely diced, to taste
  • 1 unwaxed lime or ½ unwaxed lemon, zest and juice
  • 3 fresh coriander sprigs, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped

 

Blanch the potato cubes in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside to cool.
To finish, season with salt to taste then mix everything together, saving a few of the puffed grains and coriander leaves to finish the dish. Serve immediately or set aside to macerate for an hour.

 

Looking for more interesting climate cuisine? Try out Tom's Chickpea harrisa scramble.

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