You don’t have to travel to a tropical destination to enjoy a meal that perfectly mixes delicious seafood with fresh fruit. You may read the word ceviche and think, “Oh yeah, I’m definitely gonna screw that one up.” But this Cuban-inspired fish dish from Havana Central Restaurant and Bar is incredibly simple and virtually dummy-proof—the marinade does all the work. Ceviche, a popular dish in the coastal regions of the Americas, is made by soaking fresh fish in a blend of citrus juice and high-flavor ingredients such as jalapeños, cilantro, and garlic. This recipe takes summer seasonality one step further by sandwiching jumbo shrimp between two disks of grilled watermelon.
The nutrition punch: Shrimp is chock-full of selenium, a mineral with anti-inflammatory benefits that’s been shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve cognitive function. And watermelon is rich in the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene, more of which can be absorbed by the body when lycopene-dense foods are paired with a small amount of fat, like olive oil.
Grilled Watermelon Shrimp Ceviche Recipe
• 1 lb jumbo shrimp, or 16–20 shrimp sliced in half lengthwise
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/2 onion
• 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
• 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
• 1 1/2 tbsp fresh orange juice
• 1/1/2 tsp cilantro, chopped
• 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp garlic, minced and peeled
• 1 1/2 tsp jalapeño, seeded and chopped
• 1/8 tsp garlic, minced
• 1/4 tsp red pepper, crushed
• 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup red onion, julienned
• 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
• Whole seedless watermelon
1. Add bay leaf, onion, and pepper corns to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Drop shrimp into pot and boil until the water turns pink (about 30 seconds).
2. Remove shrimp and discard water; cool shrimp in a bowl of ice water for 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a new bowl and add remaining ingredients.
3. Let mixture marinate 4–6 hours, or overnight, for fuller flavor.
4. Slice watermelon into 8 two-inch-thick pieces, leaving the rind on. Lay slices on a flat surface. Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut watermelon slices to create disks.
5. Grill the watermelon slices over medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear; remove from grill.
6. Stir ceviche and serve chilled, between two disks of grilled watermelon.