(buy the highest-quality freshest fish possible for ceviche) You can substitute Chilean sea bass, Spanish mackerel, black bass, or tuna for the salmon. Or use the same marinade to make a ceviche of fresh oysters.
1. Combine the shallots and lime juice in a small bowl. Set aside to marinate for 6 to 8 hours.
2. About a half hour before serving the ceviche, heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and pine nuts and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, until they just start to color. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.
3. Stir the cilantro and basil into the garlic and pine nuts, then stir in the shallots and lime juice.
4. Thinly slice the salmon on the diagonal in pieces about 1/4 inch thick. Arrange the fish on a deep platter and pour the marinade over the top. Set the platter in a large bowl filled with ice cubes (or in the coldest part of the refrigerator) and marinate the fish for 15 to 20 minutes, until it becomes slightly opaque.
5. Leave the platter on the ice cubes, if you used them, and serve, letting people help themselves to the fish and some of the juices.
Ceviche, which originated in Peru but is also a specialty of Ecuador and Chile as well as other South American countries, is a simple method of quick-pickling fish. The flavors and texture remind me of the many varieties of pickled fish we eat in Sweden, but because the marinating time is so much shorter and the pickling solution replaces the vinegar with citrus juices, the taste is much fresher. Unlike our pickled fish, ceviche must be eaten soon after it is made. While the salmon is cured for only 15 to 20 minutes, the shallots that go into the mix are macerated in the lime juice for 6 to 8 hours, transforming their flavor from sharp to soft and sweet.
Excerpt from Marcus Samuelsson’s cook book Aquavit c/o New York (B. Wahlströms