Fresh Mango and Tomato Salad with Aguachile
Ah, yes… “Aguachile.” While these two words might translate easily enough to you if you’ve taken even a remedial amount of Spanish in high school, the concept of “chile water” might be confusing if you’re expecting to order a beverage and instead get a bowl of semi-raw shrimp.
Aquachile has recently received some popularity in the states and is often described as having a relationship to a dish you’re likely a bit more familiar with: Ceviche. While conceptually the two appear almost identical now, with “Aquachile” being the Northwestern Mexico answer to a Peruvian “Ceviche,” members of the culinary community in that region haven’t heard that term used in reference to the raw seafood dish until the last century. Though “Aquachile” recipes have always had water and chiles (what kind of chiles remains debated), instead of raw seafood being cured in the acidity of the chile-water, it was dried, tough, preserved cuts of meat being softened and slightly rehydrated.
Our Aquachile recipe rejects both the raw seafood AND the venison jerky routes and instead takes a gentler, farmers market approach. Often used as a vegan alternative for calamari or crab cakes, hearts of palm and artichoke hearts both have a soft texture and bite that is comparable to seafood, and easily take on the seasoning of whatever dish they’re immersed- Chef Jeff’s seasoning of choice was the Citrus Blend which helps to highlight the fresh lime juice that balances out the heat of our roasted serrano peppers.
Though our dish had no meat in it, you could easily throw in some fresh scallops or even a little dried meat of your own if you’d like to bulk it out as a meal!
- 10 Tomatillos, husked and rinsed
- 6-8 Serrano chiles, sliced lengthwise and deveined
- 2 Tbsp Fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp Citrus Seasoning
- Kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Large mango, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/4 Red onion, sliced thin
- 2-3 Large tomatoes, sliced into wedges
- 14oz. Can hearts of palm, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 8oz. Can artichoke hearts in water, cut in half
- Fresh Cilantro for garnish
- Preheat grill to medium -high. Toss tomatillos and serrano chiles with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt.
- Place tomatillos and chiles on grill. Grill the chiles for 4-5 minutes, turning half way through. Grill tomatillos for 12-15 minutes, turning as needed until browned.
- Remove chiles and tomatillos from grill, place on baking sheet and let cool.
- After vegetables are cool, place 4 halves of the serrano chiles, the tomatillos, 2 Tbsp lime juice, and 1 Tbsp Citrus Seasoning in a food processor and process until smooth. This may take 2 batches depending on the size of your food processor. Set aside.
- 5. Assemble the tomatoes, mango, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, and onions on a platter. Drizzle aguachile over top. Garnish with additional serrano chiles and cilantro leaves.
- 6. Serve!