Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Insalata di Mare

     A Tasty Traditional Italian Seafood Salad Antipasti!
     I learned how to make Insalata di Mare when I was a garde manger chef at Northern Italian fine dining restaurant.  At every Italian restaurant that I worked in during the following years, the seafood for Insalata di Mare was prepared the same way.  Every Italian chef knows this recipe by heart and the basic recipe never changes.  As the old saying goes, "There is no need to reinvent the wheel!"  Insalata di Mare is perfection at its best! 
     Only the freshest seafood should be selected and it is very important to not overcook the seafood for Insalata di Mare.  The seafood must be cooked al dente or just a little bit more than three quarters fully cooked.  This ensures that the seafood will be tender and juicy when the salad is served.

     Insalata di Mare
     This recipe yields 1 salad entrée.
     The seafood for this salad should be cooked and quickly cooled shortly before serving.
     Always add the sliced squid last.  Squid only takes a few seconds to cook.  When seafood is cooked al dente, it is still slightly raw and warm in the center.
     Step 1:  Place 1 1/2 quarts of water in a sauce pot.
     Bring the water to a boil over medium high heat.
     Add 1 bay leaf.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt.
     Step 2:  Add 8 medium size scallops.  (About 3 to 4 ounces)
     Add 6 peeled and deveined large shrimp.
     Boil the shrimp and scallops till they are almost three quarters fully cooked.
     Step 3:  Add about 1/2 cup of sliced squid and tentacles.  (3 to 4 ounces)
     Boil for about 45 seconds, so the squid is cooked tender.
     Step 4:  Remove the pot from heat.
     Place the pot in a sink and cool with cold running water.
     Add 2 to 3 cups of ice to thoroughly cool the seafood.
     Drain the water off of the seafood.
     Remove the bay leaf.
     Step 5:  Place the chilled poached seafood in a mixing bowl.
     Add enough virgin olive oil to coat the seafood.  (3 to 4 tablespoons)
     Add 1 pinch of coarse ground black pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt.
     Add 1 pinch of minced fresh basil.
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add 1 pinch of chopped Italian Parsley.
     Add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 6:  Chill the seafood in a refrigerator for 10 minutes, so the flavors meld.
     Toss the ingredients together one last time just before serving.
     Step 7:  Mound 1 1/2 cups of Mixed Baby Lettuce on the center of a plate.
     Place 6 or 7 ripe Plum Tomato slices on the place around the lettuce.
     Place 1 long thin sliced carrot triangle garnish on the plate between each tomato slice.
     Place 1 half of a ripe olive on each tomato slice.
     Step 8:  Mound the chilled seafood on top of the lettuce on the center of the plate.
     Spoon some of the extra lemon olive oil dressing over the salad and tomatoes.

     Insalata di Mare is a great summertime salad that is quite healthy to eat! 

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