Scallop Ceviche with Melon, Chili, and Mint
- 2 pounds fresh bay or sea scallops, preferably with shells
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Juice of 3 oranges
- Juice of 3 lemons
- Juice of 3 limes
- Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
- Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
- Zest of 1 lime, finely grated
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small ripe cantaloupe, halved, seeded, peeled, and cut into small cubes
- 1/2 bunch fresh mint, hand-torn, plus more for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 fresh red chili, cut in paper-thin circles
Start by assessing the scallops at the fish store. I usually inspect every one just to make sure that they're all in perfect shape, i.e. not torn, and fresh with a sweet ocean smell. The next step is to remove the side mussel that connects the scallop to its shell; it's not hard to miss; just pull it off with your fingers. Keep the shells to serve the ceviche in. Using a sharp knife, slice the scallops in half lengthwise into discs; the thinner they are, the faster they'll "cook". Put the scallops in a glass bowl and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper.
Put the citrus juices, zest, and sugar in a blender and give it a whirl to combine. Add the olive oil and blend again to emulsify. Pour the marinade over the scallops; there should be enough juice to allow the scallops to float freely. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, until the scallops are opaque, i.e. cooked from the acid in the fruit.
In a separate bowl, combine the cantaloupe, mint, and chili; season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine.