Salmon Ceviche with Merquén-Spice Quinoa and Mote

Salmon Ceviche with Merquén-Spice Quinoa and Mote

In this layered timbale, salmon scented with smoky ground chile peppers
or merquén—one of the most predominant seasonings in Chile—sits atop a
mixture of quinoa, barley and tomatoes for a refreshing appetizer. You
can double the portions for a main course. This is based on a recipe
from renowned young chef Tomás Olivera of restaurant Casa Mar in
Santiago.

See other related recipes in The Flavors of Chile.

Yield: 4 (4-ounce) appetizer portions
Preparation time: about 1 hour
Shelf life: 1 day

Ingredients

8 ounces finely diced skinless salmon fillet
3 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon freshly chopped chives
2 tablespoons, plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon merquén, plus additional for garnish
2 tablespoons uncooked pearled barley
2 tablespoons uncooked quinoa
¼ cup finely diced and seeded tomatoes
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro leaves
Microgreens, for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. In a bowl, combine the salmon, pepper, chives, 2 tablespoons
olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt and the
merquén, and toss. Cover and refrigerate while preparing the rest of the recipe.

2. Cook the barley and quinoa separately according to
package directions. Drain and let cool. Combine the tomatoes, cilantro
and remaining olive oil with the mote (barley and quinoa combination),
and season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Pack a quarter of the grain mixture into four (3- to 3½-inch) rings. Spoon the ceviche on
top, and press the timbales on to small plates. Add microgreens on top
of each, sprinkle a little merquén around the outside of each plate and
serve.

Nutritional Data (per 4-ounce portion): Calories: 200;  Cholesterol: 35 mg; Sodium: 30 mg; Fat: 13 g; Dietary Fiber: <1 g

Ingredient Cost Sheet

Ingredient Cost
8 ounces finely diced skinless salmon fillet $3.11-5.18
3 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper $.08-.15
1 tablespoon freshly chopped fresh chives, plus 8 (3-inch) chives for garnish $.07-.11
2 tablespoons, plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil $.18-.30
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice $.24-.40
1 teaspoon merquén, plus additional for garnish $.10-.13
2 tablespoons uncooked mote (pearled barley) $.03-.05
2 tablespoons uncooked quinoa $.08-.14
1/4 cup finely diced seeded tomatoes $.07-.12
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro leaves $.05-.08

Joanna Pruess is a regular contributor to Specialty Food Magazine.