With the never-ending winter we've been having here, I've been yearning for a little warm weather fun so last weekend Michael and I headed down to Cartagena, Colombia for just that.
When we were trying to figure out where to go, we were surprised to find that Jet Blue now has direct flights to Cartagena from NYC. Michael is Colombian and this was our first trip there together, and my first time to Colombia, so when we figured out that we could easily get there, there was no question. Yes. Take me there.
The old town in Cartagena is one of the most colorful and vibrant cities I have ever experienced. Being surrounded by bright beautiful colors and humidity makes me happy. We had such a great time wandering the streets, eating, drinking out of coconuts and taking tons of photos. I loved being there with Michael, hearing him reminisce about certain foods that he would eat when he lived there and experiences he had as a kid.
Since Cartagena is located on the Caribbean sea, there is no lack of fresh fish and light, tropical meals. Ceviche is big there, and we made sure we tried our fair share. So fresh, so good.
While we were eating and trying all kinds of seafood ceviche, I thought to myself, why haven't I seen a vegetable ceviche on any menu? You know what happened next.
When we got home the first thing I made was a vegetable ceviche with radishes, apples, and a lot of other tasty ingredients like avocado, red onion and lemon juice that make a typical seafood ceviche taste so good. The zesty radish flavor pairs so well with the sweetness of the apple. It's such a fun and colorful snack or appetizer. The only thing that was missing was the 80º weather.
radish + apple ceviche
about 4 as an appetizer
6-8 red radishes, sliced thinly, preferably with a mandolin
1 small apple, sliced thin and small (similar size as the radish slices)
1/2 cup red onion, diced finely
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of white beans (canned is okay, but dried + soaked / drained are better)
1 avocado, diced
1 jalapeño, de-seeded and diced (optional)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1 teaspoon of spicy mustard
salt + pepper to taste
4-5 basil leaves, roughly chopped
a good sized pinch of cilantro, roughly chopped
- Place the radishes, apples, red onion, garlic, white beans, avocado, and jalapeño in a bowl. You might want to squeeze a little lemon over them so that the apple and avocado do not oxidize.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, mustard, and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust any seasoning accordingly.
- Pour the dressing/marinade over the chopped ingredients a little at a time, being careful not to overdress. The proportions here should give you just enough.
- Allow to chill and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Toss in the basil and cilantro right before serving.