Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Seafood Salad - Summer's favorite

Seafood Salad - appetizer size

Today I would like to interest you in a wonderful warm dish that is served all over the coasts of Italy in the Summer Time.
The Seafood Salad is a bed of cold vegetables (and sometimes fruit) topped by simply cooked fresh seafood (shrimp, prawns, lobster, calamari, clams, muscles).

It's a little expensive, but the quality of the fish makes the salad, so don't go cheap on the fish choice, or your dish WILL suck. If you don't have a lot of money and would still like to enjoy such marvelous invention of culinary art, make it an appetizer and buy less fish.
I save it for special occasions. I like to pair it with a nice bottle of Champagne (Piper, Moet Chandon, Veuve Cliquot are the cheapest ones and they sell in the States for around $40) or a more affordable bottle of Vermentino, a wonderful italian wine peculiar of Toscana, Liguria. Actually at Wine and Spirits I recently saw for sale a Vermentino LUNAE, which is from the area where I'm from. I've visited their vineyard many times with my father (who's a sommelier) and I've always enjoyed their selections.

So, how to make a Seafood Salad. 

Raw vegetables cut in strips:
Carrots, celery, fennel, radish, tomatoes, peppers, mixed green. Pick and choose the ones you want to use or use all of them, for endless combinations.

Seafood:
shrimp, prawns, lobster, calamari, clams, muscles. The last time I made this I only chose shrimp and jumbo shrimp (carabineros) and it was amazing.

Cooking directions:
Shrimp, prawns, lobster, calamari: boil in salted water for no more then 5 minutes. If you overcook these things they get really tough. It's better to keep it undercooked, if it's fresh this stuff can be consumed raw, so you risk nothing.
Clams and muscles: cook in a large pan with a cup of water, cover with a lid until the clam inside is a more intense color (orange for muscles, light brown for clams).

Vinaigrette for 2 people:
3 table spoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 table spoon of lemon (freshly squeezed)
1 table spoon of orange juice (freshly squeezed)
1 tea spoon of mustard
salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with the veggies on the bottom, the fish nicely displayed on top and the vinaigrette on the side or right on top of the food.

Enjoy!
Valentina
Real Italian Kitchen 

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