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The Bend Magazine

Farm to Table: Ceviche & Crostinis

09/30/2019 11:18AM ● By Kayla Butts
By: Justin and Kayla Butts  Photos by: Rachel Benavides

Appetizers have traditionally been served to whet one’s appetite for the main course that follows. But modern appetizers have become mini-meals unto themselves – small dishes fit for occasions when a full meal is too much, but a smaller bite is just right.

There are plenty of occasions perfect for appetizers: bringing a dish to a tailgate party, having neighbors over to watch a primary debate, awaiting the arrival of friends before a night on the town, and many more. The appetizer must match the moment to lift the mood of the group.

A good host should always consider the tastes of her guests when planning the apps for your affair. 

Pear and Roquefort crostini with honey is much more fitting for a night of debate, discussion, and cheering on candidates. The tanginess of the cheese blends with the soft sweetness of the pear and honey, with the crisp crostini providing a nice texture. Politics can drive people apart, but this dish will bring them back together. 

And what better way to entertain friends before a night on the town than ceviche shooters in cucumber shot glasses? We love freshly caught speckled trout, with its gorgeous color and texture, for this dish – but any fresh local fish, from snapper to flounder, works just as well. If possible, use a Marketmore variety cucumber from a local farmer. This cuke is hefty enough to make a good vessel, and so delicious that you can be sure all your shot glasses will be eaten.

The perfect appetizer can elevate any get-together into a real celebration. Plus, a thoughtful dish shows people that you care about them. Just remember, no matter what the occasion or moment, there is an APP(etizer) for that!

Recipes

CEVICHE SHOOTERS

Makes 12

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 4 hour

Ingredients:

5 cucumbers, peeled

1 lb speckled trout filets, cut into 1/2” dice

1 lb gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined, cut into 1/2” dice

1 shallot, minced

2 avocado, diced into 1/2” pieces

3 roma tomatoes, diced into 1/2” pieces

1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

1-2 jalapenos, seeded and minced

1 tsp salt 

6 limes

2 oranges

Directions:

Chop 1 cucumber into small pieces and set aside. Cut the other four cucumbers into 3rds of approximately equal length. Cut off the ends of each cucumber, making a flat surface on which the cucumber will stand upright. On one side of each piece, hollow out the cucumber ¾ of the way down leaving the other end intact. To do so, use a paring knife to cut out a small cylinder in the middle of the cucumber around the seeds and scoop out the flesh with a small spoon, taking care not to disturb the outer integrity of the cucumber vessel you’ve created. Set aside in the refrigerator. 

In a large bowl, combine: trout, shrimp, shallot, avocado, tomato, cilantro, and jalapeno. Season the mixture with salt, mixing well. Squeeze the juice of the limes and oranges over the mixture. Cover and let marinade for approximately four hours, until seafood is white and opaque. Drain mixture and serve in prepared cucumber cups are toasted. 

Remove from the oven and top with a drizzle of honey and fresh thyme leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.

PEAR AND ROQUEFORT CROSTINI WITH HONEY

Makes about 16

Prep time: 7 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes

 Ingredients:

1 baguette, sliced into 3/4” segments

Olive oil

2 pears, sliced thinly

6 ounces high-quality blue cheese

1/4 cup local honey

1 bunch fresh thyme

Directions:

Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Place baking sheet on the second highest rack of the oven and broil on high for 3 minutes, until bread begins to toast. 

Remove from the oven and top with 2 pieces sliced pear and several blue cheese crumbles. Broil a second time for about 5 minutes, until cheese begins to melt and edges of the baguette are toasted. 

Remove from the oven and top with a drizzle of honey and fresh thyme leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.