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In all truth, this isn’t the most secret of recipes—it comes from legendary Alice Waters’ latest cookbook, Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor, and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden, in which she suggests the gorgeous Belgian endive leaves serve as vessels for refreshing halibut ceviche with lime. Should you (en)dive in to this recipe, you’ll likely get your leaves from Rich Collins, the subject of our From Scratch column in 7x7’s November issue (“California Endive Farms,” p. 88). He not only provides Waters her product, but also Whole Foods, so you can hors d’oeuvres on par with Chez Panisse.
Halibut Ceviche with Lime
3/4 pounds halibut (or any firm-fleshed fish), cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/3 cup Key or other lime juice
2 jalapeños or other hot peppers
1 small red or white onion, peeled and diced
6 sprigs cilantro, coarsely chopped
Salt, to taste
Raw Belgian endive leaves
1. Cut halibut into 1/4-inch cubes; transfer cubes to a nonreactive bowl and season with salt.
2. Pour over the Key lime juice, mix well, and press fish down so it is submerged in the juice.
3. Cover and refrigerate for one hour, or until fish is opaque and firm.
4. While fish refrigerates, prepare the jalapeño peppers: cut off stem ends, slice in half lengthwise, remove seeds and veins, and thinly slice remaining pepper pieces.
5. Peel and dice onion, and coarsely chop cilantro sprigs.
6. Once fish is ready, drain off and discard the lime juice. Stir in chopped onion, cilantro, and half the hot peppers.
7. Season with salt to taste; add more hot peppers as desired.
8. Brush Belgian endive leaves with vinaigrette.
9. Spoon halibut mixture into endive boats.
Excerpted from Alice Waters’ Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor, and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden.