Sometimes referred to as seviche or ceviche, this dish traditionally uses an acidic marinade to partially â€œcookâ€� seafood. Here we substitute chayote that's boiled until slightly soft. The brightly flavored dressing and crunchy onion and pepper provide a nice counterpoint to the tender texture and barely sweet flavor of the chayote, hearts of palm, and corn—all Venezuelan favorites. Allow at least three hours for the flavors to marry in the refrigerator before serving. Soaking the onion softens its pungency.
1 (14-ounce) can hearts of palm, rinsed, drained, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Dash of sugar
6 Boston lettuce leaves
1/4 cup chopped pitted ripe olives
How to Make It
Cut chayote in half lengthwise. Cook chayote in boiling water 3 minutes; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Peel chayote; discard seeds and membranes. Cut chayote into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in a large bowl.
Combine 1 cup ice water and onion in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
Add bell pepper strips and next 4 ingredients (through hearts of palm) to chayote.
4, Combine juices and next 5 ingredients (through sugar) in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add juice mixture to chayote mixture; toss gently. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
Drain onions well. Place 1 lettuce leaf on each of 6 plates; top each serving with 2/3 cup pepper mixture. Top each serving with onion and 2 teaspoons olives.
Beer note: This salad is soaked in citrus juices, making a German hefe-weizen the perfect choice. Paulaner Hefe-Weizen ($9/six-pack) offers a distinctive banana aroma, while a refreshing tartness from the use of 60 percent wheat helps it to stand up to the high acidity. —Jeffery Lindenmuth