Summer is here and the heat index in Rome has inched past 100F degrees! Never one to let the heat discourage the pursuit of good food, I’ve been on the search for refreshing dishes that don’t require much heat from the kitchen. When reading through Gonzalo Guzmán and Stacy Adimando’s new book, Nopalito, the Ceviche Nayarita de Camarón (Shrimp Ceviche from Nayarit) in the first chapter emerged as one of my favorite no-cook recipes. Nopalito is the name of chef Gonzalo Guzmán’s two San Francisco-based restaurants. This ceviche, also on Gonzalo’s Nopalito menu if you’re lucky enough to be in San Francisco, is spicy, crunchy and refreshing. It also pairs wonderfully with whatever cold drinks you’re serving. To hear Gonzalo’s approach to the food he serves at Nopalito and how he and Stacy wrote their cookbook, see their fascinating Talks at Google here. –Kristina
Why Gonzalo and Stacy love this recipe: Gonzalo – I like this ceviche because it shows other vegetables from what people are used to seeing in a ceviche. It also represent a particular place in Mexico (Nayarit) and it has layers of clean flavors and textures that you are able to taste. A little history about this recipe — this ceviche is served gratis to patrons at Botanerias. Families gather at Botanerias to enjoy music together and parents have an adult beverage menu to choose from. The cerviche is always on the house.
Stacy – I love all of Gonzalo’s ceviches, which are so diverse. Some are spicy and chile-based, while others are tangy and tomatillo-based. This particular one is my favorite, with a bright, clean acidity and really addictive crunch from carrots and cooked shrimp. I sometimes make a meal out of just this, with a bowl of salty, thick tortilla chips.
This is a good ceviche to serve in big batches at a party, or to make a dinner of by piling it onto tostadas.
Almost every ingredient here is traditional, including the grated carrots, which mix with the oniony, citrusy ceviche juice to lend a sweet flavor. It’s a spicy dish, so feel free to substitute jalapeños if serranos have too much heat for you.
Ceviche Nayarita de Camarón
Shrimp Ceviche from Nayarit
— 1 pound fresh shrimp, preferably the white Gulf variety, peeled, cleaned, and finely chopped
— 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 6 to 8 limes), plus more as needed
— 1⁄4 red onion, finely chopped
— 1 3⁄4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
— 1⁄2 cup grated carrots, grated on the large holes of a box grater
— 1⁄2 cup finely diced cucumber, peeled if desired
— 1 to 3 serrano chiles, finely chopped
— 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
— 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
— Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
— Tortilla chips or salted crackers, for serving
In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, lime juice, red onions, and salt. Let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots, cucumber, chiles, cilantro, and green onions and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the lime juice and salt as needed. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and serve immediately with the chips.
About Gonazalo and Stacy: Gonzalo Guzmán was born in Veracruz, Mexico, and came to the United States as a young child. He began working at Kokkari restaurant in San Francisco as a dishwasher, but was soon promoted and went on to work his way up through the ranks at Boulevard, Chez Nous, and Nopa. In 2009, he partnered with Laurence and Allyson Jossel and Jeff Hanak to open Nopalito on Broderick Street. Guzmán is now the chef of both the original Nopalito as well as a second location on Ninth Avenue, just outside Golden Gate Park.
Stacy Adimando is a food and travel journalist, and the test kitchen director at Saveur magazine. Her work has been published by NPR, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, Forbes, and many more. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Follow Stacy on Instagram!