A matter of cultural perspective
How would you eat this dish? Would you start by eating the rice first, the squid or the pesto? Would you call it fusion, creative cuisine or a concept dish? Anyway we see it, it is a matter of perspective. So is the way we eat our food. If I had to define food in one word, I’d say food is culture. When it comes to food, our preferences – and our choices of what we eat and cook – are shaped by our cultural backgrounds. Food defines who we are and where we come from: Italians eat pasta, Mexicans eat tacos, Americans eat burgers, Chinese people eat dim sum, etc.
Yet, our eating and cooking habits are also “contaminated” by other cultures – especially for those who, like me, have emigrated to other countries or the presence of large communities in some countries (Indians in England). This “contamination” brings on the one hand enrichment to our own gastronomical upbringing, on the other hand it broadens our culinary horizons.
In this post I am sharing a recipe that encompasses my Latin American culinary background and the influence of Italian gastronomy…But please don’t call it fusion!!!
Squid Ceviche with Almond-Mint Pesto and Venere Rice. (makes 4 servings)
For the Squid Ceviche
- 4 medium squids cleaned
- 1 celery stalk
- some minced Italian parsley (or cilantro if you prefer)
- juice of 4-5 limes
- red pepper corns
- extra virgin olive oil
- Cut the squid into strips
- Place squid in a bowl and add lime juice. Let it stand for about 15-20 minutes (do not marinate it for too long, otherwise squid will taste like rubber!)
- Cut celery into fine pieces.
- Add minced parsley (or cilantro) and celery to squid
- Sprinkle with crushed red peppercorns
- Drizzle olive oil
For Almond Mint Pesto recipe, see my Pesto recipe replacing basil with mint and pine nuts with almonds.
For the Venere Rice recipe
- 120 grams of Venere Black Rice (you can use any brown rice or wild rice if you don’t find this rice in your country)
- coarse salt
Note: Venere black rice has a beautiful aromatic ebony colored rice that marries well with seafood. It is rich in minerals and has a very delicate taste that resembles freshly baked bread.
- Cook rice in a pot with salted water. Venere rice usually cooks in 20 minutes.
- Add extra virgin olive oil and ceviche juices.
- Add diced cherry or plum tomatoes for garnish (optional)