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Mixed Seafood Salad

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Mixed Seafood Salad

Serves 4 - 6 people as an appetizer.

Basic Ingredients:

2 pounds fresh or thawed frozen squid (calamari), cleaned and cut into 3/4 inch. rings,  leave tentacles whole.

I pound medium size shrimp, peeled and de-veined.

1 pound mussels

2 stalks of celery, sliced

1 medium red onion, sliced

1 small jar (8 oz) of roasted red peppers, drained and diced

1 cup green and/or black Italian olives, drained

1/2 cup virgin olive oil

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

I small bunch flat leaf parsley, thick stems removed, chopped

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Scrub mussels with a stiff brush under cold running water. Remove any fibrous beards from mussels. Throw away any mussels with open shells.

2.  Put 1 tablespoon of water to just cover the bottom of a 4 quart saucepan and add cleaned mussels. Cover and cook over high heat with cover on the pot until mussels open, around 1 to two minutes. Pick out and throw away any mussels that fail to open. Transfer mussels to a clean bowl and let cool.

 3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Set a bowl of ice water nearby. Boil shrimp just until pink, about 2 minutes. Using a strainer, transfer to ice water to stop cooking and then place the drained shrimp into a large bowl.

4. Add squid to boiling water. Once pot has returned to boil, cook squid until tentacles curl back and rings are opaque, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Drain well, pat dry with paper towels, and add to the bowl of shrimp.

5. Strain liquid off the mussels and add to the bowl of squid and shrimp.

6. Add chopped onion, celery, and olives to the bowl

7. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, 1/2 cup lemon juice, the garlic, and parsley. Whisk in 1 teaspoon salt, or less to taste, and several grinds of black pepper.

8. Pour dressing over seafood and stir gently.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let salad marinate in the refrigerator a few hours or overnight.

9. Bring salad to room temperature and stir gently before serving. Serve with additional lemon slices.

If you wish you can add steamed clams, cooked and sliced scungilli (conch), boiled chopped octopus, lobster, or cooked scallops to this salad, adjusting the amount of oil and seasonings for larger quantities of seafood.  If available, a small portion of chopped arugula is also a flavorful addition to the salad.

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