A traditional Latin American seafood dish gets a makeover when you make Cauliflower Ceviche. This version of the classic appetizer is vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free. Enjoy it with chips, tortillas, or on its own.
Are you a fan of ceviche? I used to love it back when I ate fish and seafood.
But now that I'm vegan, I enjoy trying non-traditional plant-based versions. Hearts of Palm used to be my go-to ingredient since when sliced, the vegetable's texture resembles white fish or calamari.
But now I've found what I think is an even better (and less expensive) alternative. Cauliflower!
What is ceviche?
Ceviche is a Latin American dish traditionally made with raw fish marinated in citrus juice. The acid "cooks" the fish. Usually other ingredients such as onion, chili pepper, and cilantro are added.
In the United States, you may see ceviche on menus in both Mexican and Peruvian restaurants. And more and more, vegans are creating their own versions using vegetables such as cauliflower.
After all, the white vegetable has a mild flavor that goes well with the traditional ceviche ingredients. And when lightly cooked, it has a similar texture to fish.
Alternative to seafood
Even seafood lovers will be amazed at how delicious Cauliflower Ceviche is. I brought a bowl of Cauliflower Ceviche and tortilla chips to a potluck, and it was the hit of the party.
Most of the guests there were omnivores, and they loved it. One person even thought it was fish!
But don't worry, this dish doesn't taste the least bit fishy. It just tastes great.
And if you don't want to eat it with chips, it's also great with warm corn tortillas or eaten as a salad. You could even serve it in lettuce cups or avocados.
You only need a few basic ingredients to make Cauliflower Ceviche. And everything can be found at your local supermarket or farm stand:
- Red onion (or your favorite variety)
- Jalapeno pepper (or your favorite pepper such as serrano or habanero)
- Tomatoes (any size, shape, or color)
- Cilantro (omit or substitute half as much parsley or another herb if you don't care for cilantro)
- Fresh lime juice
And that's it! Plus the only cooking involved is blanching the cauliflower for just a few minutes in a pot of boiling water. It's such an easy recipe to make.
This veggie ceviche is a wonderful appetizer or light meal. I could definitely eat a whole bowl of it myself and be very satisfied. So you may want to make a double batch if you're having guests over.
It's also perfect as a starter for Mexican-inspired favorites such as Soyrizo Potato Tacos or Roasted Sweet Potato Tacos. I also love it as part of a light summer meal with Grilled Corn Tomato Cucumber Salad and Tomatillo Avocado Salsa.
Cauliflower Ceviche (Vegan and Oil-Free)
- 1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (seeds and ribs removed, optional)
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- salt, to taste
- tortilla chips and lime wedges, for serving (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Add the cauliflower florets and cook until just tender when pierced with a fork.
- Immediately remove the cauliflower and place the florets in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
- Once they are cool, pat the florets dry with a kitchen towel.
- Chop the cauliflower florets into small pieces.
- In a large bowl, place the chopped cauliflower, onion, jalapeno, tomatoes, and cilantro and toss together.
- Add the lime juice and salt and toss well to coat.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Garnish with lime wedges and serve with tortilla chips, if desired.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.
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