Insalata di Mare (Mediterranean Seafood Salad)

By • May 1, 2015 0 Comments

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Author Notes: The summer after I graduated from college I applied for numerous jobs in the NYC area. When I was finally contacted about a research position, I was thrilled. I took the bus down; I lived in upstate NY. The interview was in the afternoon so I spent the morning walking around the neighborhood. That was how I stumbled upon an amazing little Italian restaurant where I ordered this salad. I was only 20 so to me it was the height of decadence. The salad itself was perfect; fresh and zesty. The restaurant closed some years later and I have modified the original recipe a bit, adding lobster instead of muscles, omitting the onions…nevertheless every time I prepare this dish, I am filled with the excitement and optimism I felt on that first trip to the city. PS. I got the job ;)nycnomad


Serves 4-6 people

  • 1/4 pound Squid (cleaned)
  • 1/4 pound Bay Shrimp
  • 1/4 pound Lobster or Crab Meat (cooked)
  • 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Celery Heart with Leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Curly Leaf Parsley
  • 2 Scallions (Optional)
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 3 Small Lemons
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 3-4 tablespoons Olive Oil
  1. Slice the squid into 1/2 inch rings and chop the tentacles if they are too large.
  2. Saute the squid and shrimp in olive oil until they are opaque, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Drain the squid and shrimp, they tend to give up a lot of liquids when they cook. Put aside until they have cooled completely.
  4. Chop the crab or lobster meat coarsely and place in a large bowl.
  5. Dice the celery, with some of the leaves and the scallions if you choose to incorporate them. I leave them out only because I am allergic to them. Add these to the crab/lobster meat.
  6. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the mixture.
  7. If the squid and shrimp have cooled, add them to the bowl and toss gently.
  8. Chop the avocado into cubes. The avocado should be firm but ripe. If it is too soft it will break down and give the salad a rather slimy appearance.
  9. Chop the parsley very finely and add along with the avocado to the salad.
  10. Drizzle 3-4 tbsp of olive oil over the salad and then add the freshly squeezed juice of 3 small lemons or the equivalent (about 1/4- 1/3 cup)
  11. At this point I recommend tossing the salad and setting it aside in the fridge for about half and hour. Seafood tends to be salty and this salad tends to be better when it has had a chance to macerate for a bit.
  12. Now you can toss it again and give it a taste. Add salt and pepper to your taste. You may even find that you want to adjust the acidity a bit by adding a little more lemon juice.
  13. Serve with freshly cracked pepper and a lemon wedge. Enjoy!

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