This month we are celebrating one of Britain's beautiful coastlines - Salcombe, home to gin of the month Salcombe Gin Start Point. Carol's vibrant, zesty Salcombe Sea Bass and Salmon Ceviche will instantly transport you to the seaside.
I love Valentine's Day, any excuse for a bit of romance. This year was no different and I celebrated with food and drink, with gin being on the menu of course!
This month's recipe is a showstopper of a starter: ceviche with sea bass and salmon. Ceviche originates from Latin America, and is essentially finely diced raw fish that is 'cooked' in a citrus marinade with spices.
Don't be afraid of raw fish – cold smoked salmon is raw, and many of us eat sushi and sashimi. Of course, the fish must be super fresh.
The acid in the juice denatures the proteins in the fish, in much the same way as cooking would. The flesh becomes opaque, the texture firmer and dryer, yet the flavours remain spanking fresh.
There's no single species that's particularly favoured for ceviche. It makes sense to use the local catch. I've plumped for sea bass and salmon because... well, I love them! So here goes, my gin-flavoured ceviche: a stunning and delicious starter for Valentine's Day and beyond!
Salcombe Sea Bass and Salmon Ceviche
Soak the onion in cold water for 5 minutes to remove any bitterness, then drain and dry on a paper towel. Pop the onion, juniper berries, coriander seeds, chilli, salt, Salcombe Gin Start Point and citrus juices in a shallow dish.
Cut the fish into 1cm cubes, then mix with the marinade and leave for 10-30 minutes.
Before serving, check the seasoning – salt is an integral part of ceviche, so make sure there's enough in the dish to taste it. Then toss in the fresh coriander and pile onto two serving dishes.
I like to serve this dish with crusty bread, which soaks up the juices and contrasts with the texture of the fish. Enjoy!
1/2 red onion, very finely chopped
3 juniper berries, crushed
1/4 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 small red chilli, finely sliced and seeds removed
1/2 tsp salt
25ml Salcombe Gin Start Point
Juice of 3 limes
Juice of half a red grapefruit
150g fresh sea bass fillet, skinned
100g fresh salmon fillet, skinned
Bunch of fresh coriander, chopped