Sicilian Seafood Salad
I love this seafood salad and after eating many variations and enjoying it all over Sicily I still can’t get enough. Traditionally the salad is eaten as part of an antipasto and usually includes octopus, I have omitted the octopus as it is sometimes not easy to find and may be a bit daunting for some of you to cook. Please feel free to add it in if you get hold of one. Sometimes I will add boiled potatoes to the salad, an addition that really makes this a meal. Serve this with crusty bread and a glass of white wine and you have a really delicious simple summery meal.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 400 g mussels, cleaned and bearded
- 400 g clams, (Vongole) soak fresh clams in cold water for 2 hours, changing the water 4 times alternately you can buy these freshly cleaned and in cryvoc bags ready to use
- 500 g raw prawns, peeled and cleaned
- 250 g fresh calamari, cleaned, sliced into rings and tentacles kept
- 50 g green olives, pitted and sliced
- 2 cups of young celery leaves
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
For the dressing
- 1 long red chili, finely chopped
- 1 tblsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed and chopped
- Salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat then add the garlic, mussels, clams, prawns and calamari and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
Cook the seafood for 6 – 8 minutes or until just cooked, tossing the pan every 2 minutes. The prawns should change colour and the mussels and clams should have opened.
Remove the seafood, then strain the pan juices and reserve 1/4 cup. Remove the mussel and clam meat from the shells and discard the shells, then transfer all the seafood to a large bowl.
Add the olives, celery, onion and parsley.
Combine the ingredients for the dressing adding a couple of tablespoons of the seafood cooking liquid. Add this to the salad adjusting the seasoning if necessary and gently toss to mix.
Cover with plastic film set aside in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 an hour for the flavours to come together.