This dish is an elegant, composed ceviche, the raw scampi cured in lime juice, resulting in springy flesh. This "cooks"' the outer layer of the scampi but leaves a sashimi texture through the middle. This is a delicate, detailed and very pretty entree that relies on careful plating to make it sing.
Delicate and delicious; scampi ceviche. Photo: Marina Oliphant
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Juice of 1 lime
60ml extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1 pearl onion (fresh), finely sliced, or substitute ¼ or ½ a white salad onion
1 tsp castor sugar
1 celery heart (the pale-yellow fine stalks and leaves at the centre of a bunch of celery)
1 Lebanese cucumber
4 large scampi, shelled, deveined and split in half (or use fresh prawns)
60g quark, preferably organic
2 radishes, sliced in rounds
10g lumpfish roe or salmon caviar
1. Whisk the lime juice with the olive oil to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Sprinkle the onion with salt and sugar, mix and allow to stand to soften.
3. Pick the pale leaves from the celery heart and slice the fine stalks on an angle.
4. Grind the cloves finely with a heaped tablespoon of salt flakes to make a fine powder.
5. Peel and deseed the cucumber and slice into small chunks.
6. Toss the scampi halves through the lime dressing. Leave to cure for three or four minutes.
7. Lay the cured scampi on your serving plates. Add two dollops of quark to each plate, then top with cucumber, celery, radish and onion, and scatter over some roe. Season with pepper and the clove salt. Finish with mint and celery leaves, spoon over a little of the lime dressing and serve.
Photo: Marina Oliphant
Styling: Caroline Velik