A ceviche from chef Doug Flicker of Piccolo restaurant in Minneapolis combines the bounty of the garden with tender gems from the sea.
Cucumber with bay scallop, asparagus and pea shoots
1 English cucumber, peeled
4 teaspoons absinthe
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
4 large asparagus spears
4 ounces bay scallops, diced
1 tablespoon chopped chives
¹/³ cup Kewpie Japanese mayo*
12 pea shoots and tendrils (tender tops of tendrils only)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1. For planks, cut cucumber in half crosswise. Cut off one-third of each piece; chop finely and set aside. Square off 2 larger pieces by slicing off the length of each side. Slice each in half lengthwise to get 4 planks.
2. Place diced cucumber in one bowl, planks in another. Season both with absinthe, olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
3. Shave asparagus lengthwise with a vegetable peeler. Add to diced cucumber, saving some for garnish. Add scallops, chives and mayo. Toss gently. Season with salt and lemon juice to taste.
To assemble: Place cucumber planks on a plate. Divide scallop mixture over planks. Garnish with asparagus, pea shoots and micro-greens. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and togaroshi.
*Kewpie mayo and togarashi spice can be found in Asian markets.
Go Green: Garden catch
Cucumber with bay scallop, asparagus and pea shoots (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)