They say “revenge is a dish best served cold” and nothing hits that mark better than any cold lionfish dish served up when it’s hot outside. Watermelon gazpacho in lionfish ceviche is, perhaps, the perfect summertime food (or anytime of the year down here in the sweltering Tropics) and there’s ZERO guilt on this plate!
Gazpacho is a soup that is served cold, which is a great food choice considering the temperatures here in Curaçao and the notable absence of air conditioning. The heat of the peppers in the ceviche is tempered by the sweetness of the soup and the entire dish is brightened by the acidity of the lime juice and balsamic vinegar. The combination of watermelon and basil is refreshing, too!
The entire meal is super healthy! Lionfish is a lean protein with higher concentrations of Omega 3 (heart healthy fatty acids that are also good for the brain) and lower levels of the “bad” fat & cholesterol than most fish you might normally use in ceviche. Additionally, there are several other superfoods in the recipes – Cilantro, Tomatoes, Avocado, Onion and Peppers!
Of course, eating lionfish sourced from the Western Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean Sea is good for the environment, too! Luckily, lionfish are delicious because getting humans interested in consuming them is key to mitigating this unfolding disaster. Let’s “eat ’em to beat ’em!”
Combine and refrigerate the following ingredients then let sit for a couple of hours.
- 1 Pound Lionfish Filets – Cubed
- 1 Yellow Onion – Diced
- Habaneros or Jalapeños – Minced (to taste)
- Cilantro – Minced (to taste)
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 Cups of Lime Juice
Combine the following chopped & seeded ingredients in a blender:
- 4 Roma Tomatoes
- 1 Cucumber
- 2 Cups of Watermelon
- 1 Red Onion
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1/2 Cup of Fresh Basil (to taste)
- 2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/4 Cup of Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
Make sure the gazpacho and ceviche is well-chilled and combine the two just before serving. I like to garnish the dish with cubed avocado and I think a cold “crisp” white wine pairs with this extraordinarily well!
A a special thanks to Chef Julie Frans of Essensia in Miami Beach for the original inspiration of this dish.
If you decide to try this recipe please let me know what you think! What might you do a bit differently? Do you have questions on preparation or about lionfish? Put ’em in the comments below – we want to hear from you!