- Gluten Free
- Lactose Free
- Difficulty: Average
- Prep time: 90 min
- Cook time: 50 min
- Serving: 4 people
- Cost: High
- Note + the soaking time of the clams (about 2 h)
From the finest restaurants to bars on the beach, seafood salad is one of the great classics of the Mediterranean tradition. Its unmistakable flavor, the countless varieties of fish and shellfish that go into it and characterize it, have made it a real institution of Italian cuisine alongside octopus and potato salad. These two tasty dishes are perfect for dinners with friends, Sunday lunch, or as an appetizer during the holidays. Making seafood salad at home with fresh ingredients and a simple parsleyed citronette dressing will be truly satisfying! Follow our cleaning instructions and get some tips from your favorite fishmonger: We used octopus, squid, clams, mussels, and shrimp... But what will you use to make your own personalized version of seafood salad?
- Mussels 2 ¼ lbs (1 kg) - to be cleaned
- Clams 1 ⅔ lb (750 g) - to be cleaned
- Octopus 1 ½ lb (700 g) - to be cleaned
- Shrimps 1 lb (500 g) - to be cleaned
- Squid 1 lb (400 g) - (medi) to be cleaned
- Carrots 2
- Celery 2 ribs
- Garlic 1 clove
- Bay leaves 4 leaves
- Parsley to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Coarse salt to taste
How to prepare Seafood salad
To make this seafood salad, start by cleaning the clams: Discard any whose shell is broken or open, placing the rest in a bowl and covering them with water 1. Add a handful of coarse salt 2, stir gently 3, and leave to soak for a couple of hours, changing the water every so often.
In the meantime, cook the octopus: Chop the celery and carrots roughly 4 and add them to a pot filled with plenty of water, together with the parsley 5 and bay leaves 6.
Add the peppercorns 7 as well and bring to a boil. Dip the octopus’ tentacles in the boiling water 4-5 times 8 to get them to curl 9.
Then immerse the entire octopus in the water, cover the pot with a lid 10, and leave it to cook for 30-35 minutes over medium heat, skimming off any residue that forms on the surface of the water from time to time. Meanwhile, clean the mussels: Remove the beard by pulling firmly with your hand 11, and any incrustations and barnacles using the blade of a knife. Then rinse under running water, scrubbing the shells well with steel wool 12.
Put the mussels aside and turn to cleaning the shrimp: Remove the head, legs 13, and tail, then remove the shell 14 and pull out the intestine gently 15.
Now clean the squid: Separate the head from the body and remove the cuttlebone 16, then remove the fins and skin 17. Then cut into rings 18.
At this point, check on the octopus: Prick it in the middle with a fork and when it’s ready, it will be tender but still firm 19. Transfer the cooked octopus to a colander and let it cool, then remove the vegetables from the cooking water 20 and add the squid. Boil for around 4-5 minutes, depending on the size 21.
Pour in the shrimp 22, too, and blanch for 30 seconds, then drain the squid and shrimp and set aside. Once the clam soaking has passed, drain them 23 and tap them one by one on a cutting board to make sure there’s not any leftover sand 24. If there is, you will need to discard the clams that still have sand in them.
Add a drizzle of oil to a pot and brown a clove of garlic in it. Then add the mussels 25 and clams 26 and cover the pot with a lid 27.
Cook over high heat for 5 minutes, just enough time for them to open 28. Drain the cooking liquid into a bowl – you can use it in other recipes. Discard any mussels and clams that are still closed and remove the open ones from their shells and place in a bowl; be sure to keep a few in the shells to use as garnish 29. Take the octopus, which should have cooled by now, and clean it, first cutting across the head at eye level to remove them 30.
Remove the insides from the head 31 and the beak on the underside, in the middle of the tentacles 32. Cut the tentacles into ¾-inch (2-cm) pieces 33 and place in a large bowl.
Lastly, prepare the citronette dressing: Place the oil and lemon juice in a small bowl, then chop the parsley 34 and add it to the bowl as well 35. Season with salt and pepper and emulsify with a fork 36.
Take the bowl with the octopus and add the shelled mussels and clams 37, squid 38, and shrimp 39.
Dress with the citronette emulsion 40 and stir well 41. Garnish with the whole mussels and clams you set aside, and then serve up your delicious seafood salad 42!
This seafood salad can be kept for up to 2 days in the fridge, in an airtight container.
You can freeze it without the dressing if the ingredients you used were all fresh, i.e., not defrosted.
You can jazz up your seafood salad by using langoustines, cuttlefish, or musky octopus. Use the mussel and clam cooking water to add zing to a risotto or other fish dishes.
Try swapping the citronette with an oil and citrus emulsion to give this dish an original touch!