If you’re looking to up your al fresco dining game in this unusually hot Great British Summer, look no further than Jessica Elliot Dennison’s citrus prawn ceviche tostadas with charred sweetcorn and mashed avocado from her new book, Salad Feasts: How to Assemble the Perfect Meal.
While I was writing this book, my friend Ben was exploring in Mexico City. He’d call in every day to see how the testing was going, often remarking on how refreshing and easy ceviche is to make and insisting I include it in my recipes. So here you are, Benny, my version of raw prawns ‘cooked’ in lime and grapefruit juice; delightful with charred sweetcorn, crispy tortillas, avocado and a cold beer.
Have a go with mixing up the seafood – sea bass, lemon sole and salmon all work brilliantly for ceviche too; just make sure the fish is sustainably caught and super-fresh.
- 8 small shop-bought corn tortillas (Cool Chile Co. brand is great)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 160 g (5½ oz) tinned sweetcorn in water (drained weight)
- 250 g (9 oz) peeled raw king prawns (shrimps)
- juice of 3 limes
- 2 baby shallots or 1 banana shallot, peeled
- ¾ teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1 grapefruit
- 4 radishes, finely sliced
- 2 avocados, halved and stones removed
- First, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Divide the tortillas between a few baking trays, brush with the oil then bake for 5–8 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat a medium frying pan (skillet) until smoking. Rinse the sweetcorn, drain completely then add to the pan (you don’t need any oil). Cook for 3–5 minutes or until nicely charred with little black marks. Transfer to a plate to cool.
- Next, if not already deveined, make a small incision along the back of the prawns and remove the dark black line (the digestive tract). Place the prawns in a medium dish or bowl then squeeze in the limes. Slice the shallots into rounds as finely as you can and add to the bowl along with the chilli flakes. Leave for 7 minutes then turn the prawns over and leave for another 7 minutes. By this point they should be pink and ‘cooked’.
- Next, cut away the top and bottom of the grapefruit, then carefully slice away the peel and white pith. Slice out each segment then finely chop the flesh (discard the membranes). Add to the prawns along with any grapefruit juice. Gently stir in the radishes.
- Scoop out the avocado flesh and roughly mash with a fork.
Take the crispy tortillas, ceviche mixture, charred sweetcorn and mashed avocado to the table in nice serving dishes. Allow everyone to build up their own tostadas.
- sea bass, sea bream, salmon
- spring onions (scallions)
- corn tortillas
- taco shells
You can also shallow-fry the tortillas in a pan of hot vegetable oil until golden. Just be sure to drain on kitchen paper, seasoned with salt.
Extracted from Salad Feasts: How to Assemble the Perfect Meal by Jessica Elliott Dennison (Hardie Grant, £16.99)
Photography © Matt Russell