Ceviche de Vegan

Joseph Shuldiner shares his recipe

A gourmet butcher shop seems an unlikely place to host a vegan cookbook signing, but that’s exactly what Joseph Shuldiner, director of L.A.’s Institute of Domestic Technology and author of the gorgeous work Pure Vegan, is doing at Lindy & Grundy this Sunday. Well, maybe it’s not that weird: the shop’s owners and resident butchers Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura are both former vegetarians. The event takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. and is RSVP only (email [email protected]). If you can’t be there to take advantage of the free hors d’oeuvres, you should still try your hand at Shuldiner’s recipe for a refreshing vegan ceviche. The cooling mix of citrus-marinated cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, peppers, and onions is about all we can handle after more than a week of near triple-digit temps (or actual triple-digit temps—sorry Van Nuys!).  It’s healthy, bright, conscientiously animal-product free.

Ceviche de Vegan
From Joseph Shuldiner’s Pure Vegan: 70 Recipes for Beautiful Meals and Clean Living (Chronicle Books, $29.95)

Serves 4

My hope is that this lovely dish will conjure up a vision of an open-air shack on a warm beach. White plastic chairs and mismatched tables covered with slick, hibiscus-patterned oilcloth dot the white sand. There’s a salty waft of sea air inflecting each bite of this dish. Although ceviche is, strictly speaking, a seafood cocktail, this all-vegetable version employs the traditional fresh lime juice to “cook” the ingredients and provide a tart, acidic dressing. Serve the ceviche in clear glass bowls or glasses to showcase the gorgeous colors of the ingredients. Vamos a la playa!

4 ounces new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup green olives, pitted and halved
1 cup small cherry tomatoes, halved, or 10 ounces sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained and coarsely chopped
1 to 2 Persian cucumbers, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1/2 cup). If Persian cucumbers aren’t available, substitute a hothouse variety
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice

Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan and add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the potatoes give easily when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook them; they should still be firm enough to hold their shape well.

In a large bowl, combine the warm potatoes with the jalapeño, bell peppers, onion, garlic, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, and cilantro.

In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, olive oil, cumin, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir until well mixed. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and stir gently until all of the vegetables are evenly coated, being careful not to break up the cubes of potato. Add the avocado and stir gently to combine. Serve right away at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to 3 days and bring to room temperature before serving.