The heat is still relentless; everything wasted, wilted, or shriveled without even an omen of green. The summer doldrums won’t let go. So I’m searching for relief, something to remind me of cool, fresh and bracing. This dish is it. A lime- activated melange of tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, olives, and onions.
I’m not vegan and this is not ceviche. I find the habit of calling non-meat dishes by their meat-derived names senseless. Why the symbolic connection? A value deeply held, a principle one stands for, should have an honorable name. If one is vegan, why christen a dish with its antipode. Sorry to wander off-point.
This is not ceviche because it doesn’t have the briny taste of the sea or the soft, meaty, succulence of shrimp or scallops. With olives, cumin and cucumber think Mexico meets Morocco, an oasis in a parched desert.
Without meat or brine there is nothing to cut the acidity, but when the heat makes you feel like you OD’d on valium, something to wake up the palate is just right.
However, this recipe could use a little sweetness. As Elvis asks “Tart. Is it something you crave? ‘Cos you say that you only feel bitterness. Would it kill you to show us a little sweetness?” (No. Not that Elvis.)
Substitute orange juice for half the the lime juice, or add some honey. And kick up the cumin a bit.
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