Sea scallops, or conchitas, "cook" (a ceviche term in which the raw fish undergoes a chemical reaction called denaturation caused by the citric acid and is rendered firmer as if it had been cooked) quickly. The combination of four citrus juices has a lower acidity than lime alone and will actually slow down the cooking process. The Valencia orange and grapefruit also add a pleasant sweetness.
1 1⁄2 pounds large sea scallops
Juice of 6 limes
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 pink grapefruit
Juice of 1 pink grapefruit
Juice of 1 Valencia orange
Juice of 5 lemons
1 cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and thinly
sliced into half-moons
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
Set the scallops in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for about 1 hour, until very firm, but not frozen solid. Slice scallops crosswise into very thin rounds. In a nonreactive bowl, toss sliced scallops in the lime juice and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Peel the grapefruit by slicing off the top and bottom, setting it upright on a flat surface, and using a sharp knife to cut away the peel, white pith and exterior membrane. Cut from top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit; don’t cut too deeply into the flesh of the grapefruit. Holding the grapefruit in one hand, run a knife along one of the interior membranes toward the center of the fruit.
Do this again along the neighboring membrane to remove each grapefruit section. Repeat until all sections are removed.
Roughly chop the grapefruit sections and reserve. Before serving, drain the scallops, discarding the lime juice. In a clean nonreactive bowl, blend the grapefruit, orange and lemon juices and gently fold in the reserved grapefruit sections, the remaining ingredients, and the scallops. Serves 6.
Wine recommendation: With its light, bright, herbal flavors, this ceviche calls for a minerally, acidic white. The 2009 Penalolen Sauvignon Blanc from Chile’s Casablanca Valley evokes flavors of the sea; a floral Pinot Gris like the 2008 King Estate highlights the slight sweetness of the citrus juices and scallops.
Reprinted with permission from The Great Ceviche. Book by Douglas Rodriguez, copyright © 2003, 2010. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc