Scallop ceviche is not exactly an everyday dinner dish. In truth I’m more likely to dine on a boiled egg and a bag of crisps eaten standing up at the kitchen work surface while I write tomorrow’s to-do list. But there are warm summer evenings when there are just two (or even one) of you and the fresh lightness of this South American plate of food feels just right. I usually follow it up with a salad made from radishes sliced paper-thin, leaves, palm hearts, the rest of the avocado and a few hot, boiled new potatoes slathered in a lemony olive oil dressing, for ballast.


As for wine, it’s white all the way. If you eat scallop ceviche in Argentina you will often be offered a glass of torrontés to drink with it. Sometimes I feel that torrontés is a horrible white grape – it is highly aromatic and smells headily of freesias – but I also have an inexplicable soft spot for it, and the ruffle of its florality does go well with the lime-cured scallops. If you can find some, try it. Sauvignon blanc can work well with this too. The trick is to find one that smells like a greenhouse full of tomato plants, rather than one that tastes of sweet mangoes and gooseberries. If you have a bottle of pisco in the cupboard, of course, you could make a pisco sour cocktail by shaking 1 measure of the spirit with 1 measure of lemon or lime juice, some sugar syrup and a spoonful of egg white. Otherwise try the wines below.


Tapada de Villar Vinho Verde 2013 Portugal, 10.5% (£7.99, M&S).

Such a happy wine. Just off-dry, which is a good if you’re adding Tabasco or fresh chilli. Uplifting, and smells gently of blossom.

Morrisons Signature Gruner Veltliner 2013 Austria, 12.5% (£6.99, Morrisons)

More like this

This Austrian wine, which smells of white pepper, is a real star. Your new summer fridge white.

Taste the Difference Awatere Valley Riesling 2013 New Zealand, 11.5% (£8.50, Sainsbury’s)

This Kiwi riesling is direct, focussed, lime-sharp and clean and just off-dry.

Errazuriz Estate Aconcagua Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Chile, 13.5% (£9.99, Waitrose)

Leafy, clean, whistling sauvignon blanc that comes in a bottle with a screw-top so you can get at it quicker.

Scallop ceviche recipe

scallops 6

extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp

tomato 1, diced

avocado 1⁄2, diced

micro herbs 1 handful (optional)

coriander leaves finely chopped to make 1 tbsp

Tabasco (optional)


shallot 1, finely chopped

limes 2, juiced

palm sugar or light soft brown sugar 1 tsp

sea salt 1⁄2 tsp

olive oil 1 tsp

step 1

Mix the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Use a sharp knife to slice the scallops finely and add them to the marinade. Cover and leave for 15 minutes to cure. Arrange the scallop slices on two plates. Stir the extra-virgin olive oil into the marinade. Top the scallops with a scatter of tomato, avocado, micro herbs and coriander. Drizzle with a little more marinade. Serve. Add a few drops of Tabasco if you like.


This feature was published in August 2014

Photographs: Sam Stowell

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