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Seafood Salad

Seafood Salad

Raise your hand if you’ve ever left a restaurant wishing you had the recipe to one of its dishes. I feel that way many times but rarely do I have the nerve to ask the chef for a recipe. Not that I’d get it, although it has happened on occasion. This recipe however, seemed easy enough to figure out without asking anyone for it. I was inspired to make it after eating it at a restaurant in Rome when we were living there. My Dad was visiting for three weeks and was a bundle of energy, climbing the entire staircase to the cupola of St. Peter’s and other shenanigans you don’t normally associate with 85 year olds.  Four years later and I think he still can outpace us. So one Sunday afternoon I left my husband at home to recoup and headed out with just my Dad for a Sunday afternoon. After visiting the church of Santa Maria Maggiore with its spectacular mosaics, we were hunting for a place in the neighborhood to eat lunch and stumbled on a basement-level restaurant filled with Roman families enjoying a Sunday pranzo. One of the specialties of the house was this seafood salad, with its orange-flavored dressing. That’s what sets this apart from any other seafood salad. It’s a refreshing first course or main meal for the last remaining weeks of summer. Seafood Salad printer friendly recipe here Makes enough for six to eight first-course servings, or four main-course servings, depending on your appetite 1/2 pound swordfish, thinly sliced 1 lb. medium shrimp, with the shells on 3/4 lb. scallops (if they’re large, cut in quarters as I did) 1/2 lb. squid, cleaned and cut into rings Make a court-bouillon by filling a large pot with four cups of water, and add one onion, one carrot, a stalk of celery with the celery tops, a bay leaf and 10 peppercorns. Bring to a rolling boil and cook for ten minutes. You want to only barely cook the seafood so don’t be concerned about the very short cooking times in the recipe below. The seafood will continue cooking in the dressing which contains a lot of citrus. Don’t forget, when you’re making ceviche, the seafood doesn’t get any prior cooking. If the shrimp is frozen make sure it is thoroughly defrosted before cooking or it will get mushy. Add the shrimp to the boiling water and after one minute, add the scallops. Cook the scallops only one minute and add the thinly sliced swordfish and squid for only one minute more. This means you’ve cooked the shrimp for a total of three minutes, the scallops for two minutes and the swordfish and squid only one minute. That’s all you’ll need, but I stress, the water should have been at a rolling boil when you started and the fish should be totally thawed and not ice cold. It’s best if you take it out of the refrigerator a half hour or so before cooking so it’s closer to room temperature. Drain the seafood from the hot water and immediately plunge the seafood into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. There will be bits of celery, peppercorns, etc. floating around in the water, so pick those out and throw them away. Drain out the cold water and pat the seafood dry on paper towels. Mix the dressing and pour over the seafood, then refrigerate. It’s best to do this at least an hour before serving so the flavors can blend well. Dressing for Seafood Salad 1/2 cup minced celery 1/4 cup minced parsley 2 cloves crushed garlic 3 T. capers 1/2 cup olive oil 1/2 c. orange juice juice of 1 lemon grated rind of one orange and one lemon Put everything into a jar and shake, or mix with a whisk in a bowl.

This Post Has 30 Comments
  1. I love a fresh seafood salad.
    I made this last summer and served them in martini glasses.
    It is such a refreshing lunch or dinner. Love the clam shell dishes!

  2. My family love seafood, although I never made fresh seafood salad before, I am pretty sure that they are going to like this one. Thanks Linda.

  3. I remember having a seafood salad similar to this when I was in Rome years ago. I have such wonderful memories of that trip and the glorious food I had there. Your dressing looks delicious, Linda. Bookmarked!

  4. Your Dad sounds awesome,bless his heart! The orange dressing sounds so refreshing and really does set it apart, I always tend to go with lemon, I obviously need to change it up!

  5. What a stunning salad! Wouldn't mind having some of that for dinner along with crusty bread and a good glass of wine. Heaven!

  6. I love this recipe and I use the orange dressing all the time on ANY salad. I keep telling folks to stay away from adding sugar when you can use a fresh orange instead. In other words, we live in Florida (HELLO). lol

    I want to ask you and or your blog followers for help. If I make this for a main dish for a dinner party, what would you pair it with? Remember I am in Florida and hot, hot, hot for some time still this year. A cold soup? Or just any advice would be welcome.

  7. I missed saying that I saved the pizza recipe from your son and daughter and am going to make it sometime really soon. I just love pizza and the photo's and recipe made me just starve. I have NEVER, EVER made my own pizza dough and I am excited about trying their recipe. It sounds like something… even me, the NON baker can make.

  8. Yay to Rome and to all of their wonderful trattoria, osteria and food! We, unfortunately, did not have enough time to check out the restaurants but reading about this makes me yearn for a return! Your dad sounds like the kind of person I'd like to travel with.

  9. Looks fabulous, Linda, perfect for a hot summer day. I bet the orange dressing would be great for other salads too! And your dad sounds pretty cool 🙂

  10. It's one of my favorite dishes Linda! I will have to try this version… had a wonderful seafood salad in Capri last month. I'm always on the lookout for a good one.

  11. That is one gorgeous salad. I'm really anxious to give it a try. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  12. Hello Linda: I "met" you on Mary's blog just in time for this delicious seafood salad. I'd like to reach in for a bite (or more) but am happy to have the recipe. And I love hearing about the joy of visiting with your father. How fortunate you both are.


  13. Linda this looks so delicious I can just taste it right through the screen…I will be trying this recipe very soon…Oh… I would love some right this very minute!

  14. funny, just last Sunday I left a restaurant wishing for their crab salad recipe 🙂
    so thank you for this post 🙂

  15. How decadent! All the seafood is just perfect and my husband would be so happy to come home to this. It's going on my list for our date-night dinners.

  16. This summer I ate much more seafood than before. It's refreshing and I began to have pleasure cooking it.
    This recipe seems fantastic and I am going to follow your advice, preparing it one of these last days of summer.

  17. Oh, Yes!! I've had a seafood salad much like this, but 30+ years ago. At the time, I had an "in" with the chef, management and the front-end guy and I'm sure that I could have obtained the recipe. One of life's great regrets.
    Your version is pretty close and I can accommodate the differences for Amerikan taste. I've saved this and I'll shop for and then make it soon. Darn good stuff and well worth the effort. Thank you!!

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