Summer Seafood Salad

20 Aug

As a child celebrations were always marked with great big meals for friends and family. Starters were a giant “antipasto” – the dish before the main meal. This became more elaborate the bigger the crowd and the grander the celebration.

Of course, the temptation was to fill up on the antipasti and then bemoan the fact that we were too full to enjoy the pasta, the meat, the fish, the cheese and salad and the desserts that followed. A lucky predicament to be in.

Seafood Salad (1)

My mum was great at pickling and grilling vegetables, a mainstay on the Italian table. But for me the highlight was always her seafood salad. Back in the day it wasn’t as easy to buy affordable, fresh seafood as it is nowadays. And to be honest, even now it’s still a luxury and for many people, living far from the coast, it’s not always available. This great thing about this dish is that, as you’re packing it full of so many fresh and zingy flavours, frozen seafood is fine. Yes, you heard it here, don’t be ashamed of making your seafood salad with frozen seafood – just be sure you defrost and cook with care and store chilled until serving. No one will be any the wiser!

Another great thing about this dish is that quantities are not important. If you can’t get squid, add octopus, if you can’t find mussels, leave them out or add a few more prawns. It’s up to you, so this is not really a recipe, just an inspiration for you to mix it up your way. What is important is to make it ahead, at least a few hours, or even overnight to allow the dressing to soak into the seafood and the flavours to develop.

Ingredients

  • For the seafood mix, use peeled king prawns, small prawns, sliced squid or baby squid and mussels. Ensure all the fish is cleaned and defrosted and well drained if necessary. Chop up a couple of cloves of garlic and reserve.
  • For the dressing make up a vinaigrette with two thirds extra virgin olive oil, one third acid (I use part lemon juice and part white wine vinegar), a sprinkle of sugar, half a teaspoon of made up mustard (or ¼ teaspoon of dried mustard powder) and salt and pepper. Put it all into a jar and shake it up well.
  • As a main course for 2 people, one tin of drained cannellini beans and two sticks of celery finely chopped.
  • For the salad a mix of finely chopped lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, red onions, and flat leaf parsley. For garnish and flavour at the end, some finely sliced hot chilli pepper and the zest of a lemon.

Keep the seafood separated out (each item takes a slightly different time to cook). In a wok or large frying pan add some olive oil and the garlic. Heat the oil gently and add the king prawns. Cook until the prawns have turned pink and the garlic is just starting to turn brown. Spoon out the prawns and garlic into a large bowl. Add more oil if necessary (no more garlic) and stir fry each of the seafood ingredients and add to the bowl. Mix the seafood together and allow to cool. Don’t worry if you are left with some lovely fish flavoured juices at the bottom of the bowl, these will add flavour to the dressing. If you are using pre cooked seafood, just mix it all together and move onto the next stage.

Seafood Salad (3)

After the seafood has cooled down, add the celery and beans and pour over the dressing. Mix well and chill for a few hours or overnight.

When you are ready to eat, bring the seafood and beans back to almost room temperature and add your salad ingredients. Mix, taste and adjust the seasoning. Plate up and garnish with the chilli and lemon zest.

Perfect as a filling main course, a special starter or as part of a celebration antipasto. Buon appetito!

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49 Responses to “Summer Seafood Salad”

  1. cookinginsens August 20, 2014 at 17:52 #

    That’s a lovely plate and salad!

    • Chica Andaluza August 20, 2014 at 18:06 #

      Thanks Rosemary – the plate was from a local Charity Shop – I love it!

      • cookinginsens August 20, 2014 at 18:13 #

        Pretty plates found like that seem to have more value. At least to me :)

      • Chica Andaluza August 20, 2014 at 18:14 #

        I absolutely agree J

  2. Mad Dog August 20, 2014 at 19:33 #

    That looks delicious and I was just thinking the same as Rosemary – the salad is perfect on that plate!
    I was just buying goat off Holloway Road and found a cheap fish stall in the covered market… :-)

    • Chica Andaluza August 22, 2014 at 18:32 #

      What did you do with your goat?!

      • Mad Dog August 22, 2014 at 18:40 #

        Curry Goat – I’m editing the pictures now…

      • Chica Andaluza August 22, 2014 at 18:40 #

        Ooh yum – looking forward to it!

      • Mad Dog August 22, 2014 at 18:41 #

        Just in time for Carnival ;-)

  3. Eha August 21, 2014 at 03:02 #

    I have to admit having somewhat avoided seafood salads as the wonderful Sydney Fish Market is over 100 kms ‘up the road’ . . . and what is available at all our supermarkets is definitely defrosted!! But with this recipe I just may have a go . . . looks so moreish . . . am having both cannellini beans and celery for lunch but with ‘boring’ grilled fish!! Thanks for the idea . . .

    • Chica Andaluza August 22, 2014 at 18:34 #

      100kms is a long way to go for fish! And grilled fish is not at all boring – it’s the best way to eat it!

  4. corneliaweberphotography August 21, 2014 at 05:35 #

    Oh what a great summer salad, than you for your inspiration. Looks so tempting, thank you for sharing

  5. Tandy | Lavender and Lime August 21, 2014 at 05:55 #

    Lovely summer salad Tanya :)

  6. Amanda August 21, 2014 at 08:02 #

    This looks gorgeous…and so healthy!

  7. Marianne August 21, 2014 at 09:32 #

    I love plates like that – what a great find – and perfect for your summer seafood salad, Tanya.

  8. Ria August 21, 2014 at 14:07 #

    I have very fond memories of your mum’s seafood salad, yours is just as scrummy – it must be in your genes!

  9. A Famished Foodie August 21, 2014 at 16:03 #

    Looks beautiful! It’s hard to think of many things better than a seafood salad in the summer.

  10. TheDorsetFinca August 21, 2014 at 18:27 #

    This looks extremely delicious and I think I want some (even though I’m sitting inside and shivering with the crazy cold weather that seems to be sweeping Dorset)!

    • Chica Andaluza August 22, 2014 at 18:57 #

      Yes, it’s getting very chilly isn’t it?! I made this a few days ago when the sum was shining!

  11. Our Growing Paynes August 21, 2014 at 20:05 #

    What a great dish for a family style meal. Love it.

    • Chica Andaluza August 22, 2014 at 18:57 #

      We very much enjoy big sharing platters and this was perfect for sharing J

  12. narf77 August 21, 2014 at 22:06 #

    All of those wriggling and sucking and darting creatures of the sea tamed and delivered in a tangy and most delicious sauce to the table for harmonious finger picking and loading into heavenly crusty bread…it almost sounds like it’s summer again Ms Chica! ;)

    • Chica Andaluza August 22, 2014 at 19:24 #

      ;) summer is becoming a distant memory know …

      • narf77 August 22, 2014 at 22:35 #

        Not here it aint Ms Chica…we have been promised a long, dry, hot one this year. Lucky we got that rainwater tank when we did…it might be the saviour of our poor garden. No seafood salad for this little black duck but Stevie-boy will be out pootling around in the Mumbly Cumumbus with a fishing rod strapped to his foot, a hat over his eyes and in the reclining position with a cooler full of “liquid refreshments” as part and parcel of summertime on the river where a fish may, or may not get caught but if it does, it usually goes down the gaping maw of Bezial who adores fresh fish ;)

      • Chica Andaluza August 22, 2014 at 22:43 #

        I think fishing is more about enjoying the moment than what you bring home for tea! We’re racing into autumn in England but back to Spain for a while soon :)

      • narf77 August 22, 2014 at 22:51 #

        So you are outrunning winter eh? Good luck with that Ms Chica ;)

  13. herymindtherapist August 22, 2014 at 16:18 #

    Lovely salad…like it..

  14. Amanda August 23, 2014 at 02:11 #

    Wow what a stunning seafood salad. It is just what I love to eat in summer. Such perfect flavor combos and nuanced textures. Love it.

  15. restlessjo August 23, 2014 at 21:58 #

    Nice idea but we’re naughty and will go for fish and chips :)

    • Chica Andaluza August 23, 2014 at 22:34 #

      Well, I can’t say I’d blame you ;) mushy peas too for me please!

  16. waterfallsandcaribous August 24, 2014 at 09:14 #

    That looks absolutely perfect for the hot, steamy nights here in HK! YUM :)

  17. Melissa's Menu August 24, 2014 at 12:57 #

    What an absolutely beautiful salad!

  18. kathryningrid August 25, 2014 at 23:09 #

    I got hungry for summer seafood today, too, so at our place it’s going to be seafood fried rice night. :D This dish of yours is lovely!

    • Chica Andaluza August 27, 2014 at 08:40 #

      Seafood fried rice sounds wonderful – think I’d prefer that even to a paella!

  19. Karen August 26, 2014 at 01:10 #

    You made me smile with your description of a giant antipasto. I have a collection of platters just for those humungous appetizers that I used to serve when we entertained all our Italian friends when we lived in Florida. I even have a large metal fish platter for seafood salads. :D I must try your version with the beans…that sounds like a great addition.

    • Chica Andaluza August 27, 2014 at 08:41 #

      My mum has lots of big platters too from when she ran a catering business – they still come out at party time!

  20. Soup Guru August 27, 2014 at 09:20 #

    We’re eating a lot of salad these hot summer days and this one is great as a complete meal and I’m so glad you mention frozen seafood is OK! I usually use it but feel stupidly guilty about it!
    By the way, we watched Tampopo the other day thanks to your recommendation and loved it! It was so funny and inspiring! 😄

    • Chica Andaluza August 27, 2014 at 23:11 #

      Never feel guilty (says the girl who went to a Catholic convent!) and so glad you enjoyed the film!

  21. spicegirlfla September 19, 2014 at 02:57 #

    This is one of my favorite salads as well. Easy to pull together but always gets the most attention at any get together. I love you addition of beans; it all looks so pretty!!

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