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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Winter Seafood Salad


Good, fresh tomatoes are hard to find in the winter and my basil has long since died off, so I use pantry staples to make this light, healthy, and satisfying seafood salad. Serve a small portion as a starter or a large portion as a main course, atop of bed of salad greens.

After stuffing some calamari tubes for dinner one night, I had some leftover, so I cooked them up for this salad. I had already used the tentacles for another dish. If you're starting with whole calamari, add the tentacles as well, cut into halves or quarters before or after you cook them.

  • 2 cups cooked calamari rings
  • 2 cups cooked pink shrimp 
  • 2 organic lemons
  • Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground peppercorn
  • Dried chili pepper flakes
  • 2 cups cooked or marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, quartered
  • 1/2 cup green olives, sliced
  • 1 cup diced roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallot, loosely packed 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • Salad greens to serve

  1. If you haven't yet cooked the seafood, do so quickly in rapidly boiling water and remove them as soon as they are done. Do not over-cook the seafood. 
  2. Add the cooked seafood to a large glass bowl. Zest then juice the lemons directly into the bowl. Estimate how much juice you have and add the same amount of olive oil. Add a pinch each of salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Toss everything together until well-coated. Taste for seasoning and make any necessary adjustments. Cover the bowl and transfer it to the fridge overnight.
  3. To the marinated seafood add the marinated artichoke hearts, both kinds of olives, roasted red pepper, shallots, and most of the chives, reserving some for garnish. Toss everything together, then drain away and reserve the liquid. 
  4. Whisk the mustard into the reserved liquid to make a salad dressing. Taste it for seasoning and make any necessary adjustments, like adding more olive oil if it is too acidic. Toss the dressing with enough salad greens to make a bed for the seafood mixture. Arrange the dressed greens on a serving plate and top them with the seafood mixture and any reserved chives.

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