Friday, April 22, 2016

Insalata Di Scungilli






     Classic Italian Conch Salad!
     Scungilli translates to conch or sea snail.  Insalata Di Scungilli was offered on the menu at every Italian restaurant that I have ever worked in.  The ingredients and method of preparation were the same at each of those restaurants.
     If you have never had conch before, the flavor is just a little stronger than fresh clams.  Very slow simmering or poaching for a short time is the only way to cook conk tender.  Even when cooked with great care, conch can still end up being tough and tenderizing the conch with a mallet is not an option when preparing a salad.
     Imported Italian canned Scungilli actually is the best choice for today's salad recipe.  Believe it or not, every Italian chef that I worked with preferred to use canned Scungilli.  I have to admit, imported Italian canned Scungilli is so nice in quality, that it should be considered to be a gourmet item.  The Scungilli meat is perfectly cooked and it is tender.
     Cans of imported Italian Scungilli come in a variety of sizes.  The small 5 to 6 ounce cans are easy to work with, because 1 small can has enough Scungilli for 1 or 2 salad servings.  
 
     Insalata Di Scungilli:
     This recipe yields 1 antipasti salad portion that can be shared by 2 guests.  
     Step 1:  Place a 6 ounce can of imported Italian sliced scungilli that is packed in its own juices in a strainer over a container.
     Place the sliced scungilli meat in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the scungilli juices from the can.
     Step 2:  Add 1/3 cup of small chopped celery.
     Add 2 tablespoons of small chopped onion.
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Add 1/4 cup of mixed diced red bell pepper and green bell pepper.
     Step 3:  Add 1 tablespoon of pomace olive oil.
     Add 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil.
     Add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add 2 pinches of minced Italian Parsley.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 4:  Toss the ingredients together.
     Chill the salad in a refrigerator for about 8 minutes, so the flavors meld.
     Stir and toss before serving.

     Presentation:
     Step 1:  Place a few romaine leaves on a plate as a bed for the salad.
     Mound 1 1/2 cups of chopped romaine lettuce on the stalk ends of the romaine leaves.
     Step 2:  Place 5 slices of ripe plum tomato on the plate next to the romaine stalk ends.
     Place 4 petite lemon wedges on the plate next to the tomatoes.
     Step 3:  Mound the Insalata di Scungilli on top of the chopped romaine.
     Garnish the salad with a sprig of Italian Parsley.

     The crunch of the celery, onion and peppers adds to the appeal of this salad.  This traditional Italian Scungilli Salad is light, healthy and uncomplicated!

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