Ceviche de Toronja
My grandmother brought me home the latest O magazine the other day, and in the recipe section I found this amazing photo of a blood orange salsa. I tore it out and stuck it on the fridge for us to make the next day. I didn’t copy the recipe exactly, because the photo was inspiration enough. We had just received 1/2 bushel of grapefruits and oranges from The Orange Shop in Citra, Florida, and we had the rest of the ingredients in the fridge. I segmented 1 grapefruit and 2 clementines (a bit tricky, but we had to use them up!), working over the serving bowl to catch the juices. Then I added the seeds of about 1/4 pomegranate; 1/2 an avocado, diced; 1 handful of cilantro, roughly chopped; 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced; and 1/2 a jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced. I seasoned it with salt, 1 tablespoon of honey, and a squeeze of lemon. The juices collect at the bottom of the bowl, and the “ceviche” marinates itself as it sits. We ate this with a special chicken dish I will share one day, along with sweet potato. My grandmother thinks it would be the perfect bed for any type of fish ceviche, and I agree. The combination of grapefruit and pomegranate is rare, but they compliment each other perfectly.
What I love about food, not just in Mexico, but just about anywhere, is that you will always discover something new. It happens to me all the time that I will notice something, and then realize that it has been around all the time, right under my nose.
The other weekend we were in Valle de Bravo, a lake resort town in Mexico State. While strolling through the main square one night we found an old man selling these small little round fruits that resembled a berry. My tita and aunt Lupita pointed out that they were green mountain tomatoes, and make a really delicious salsa. We brought them home to Rossy, who cooks for my aunt, and is from the town and conosseur of the local foods. She brought them to a boil in a pot of water, took them off the heat, and then blended them up with a little bit of white onion, and some jalapeno. The salsa was delicious- slightly acidic, and naturally smoky. You could taste the woods from where it came! We ate it with jocoque seco on baked totopos (like nacho chips).
What was fun about those tomatoes was that they were something we happened upon. Those tomatoes are not always in season, nor are they available everywhere. We could taste something new and different, something unique to where we were at that place and time. I love new discoveries!