Cold Seafood Salad


2014-07-08 10.02.59

There are times when salad is good, and there are times when it is fan-freaking-tastic.  This salad is of the second sort, at least I think so; my husband, on the other hand, thinks calamari is “squishy” so he does not enjoy it.  In fact, he doesn’t like any kind of squishy food:  marshmallow or Fluff, its first cousin, commercial whipped cream, meringue, crawfish, you know, things that go squish, but delving into that topic any further requires another sort of professional…but I digress.

And it’s fairly simple to make.  No, its very simple to make.  Make your court bouillon, which means “short stock” and is pronounced “coor-boo/yoh~” (for an audio of the pronunciation: clean your seafood and construct your salad greens.  Voila!  More French words and better yet, a nice entree or side dish.

Chilled Seafood Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy, but tedious
  • Print

A fresh, light, absolutely delicious Italian-inspired salad, perfect for a warm summer evening dinner on the patio.


1 pound calamari tentacles and tubes, cleaned and cut into 1-inch rings, soaked in

2 cups buttermilk for at least 1 hour, refrigerated and covered

2 pounds shrimp, 21-25s, peeled & deveined (retain the shells for making seafood stock later)

2 lbs. littleneck clams, cleaned

Court Bouillon:
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium carrot, unpeeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, skin on, halved and quartered (cut off stem)
4 sprigs fresh parsley
4 sprigs fresh lemon thyme
2 bay leaves
1 dried red chile
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 pound U21/25 tail-on shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed, beards removed
1 1/2 cups halved and thinly sliced tomato
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Fennel-Arugula Salad:
8 ounces lightly packed Israeli arugula, washed and trimmed
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, fronds reserved and sliced thin
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 heriloom tomato, seeded and finely diced
2 scallions, sliced on the bias
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Venetian Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 scallions, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper


  1. For the calamari: Combine the calamari and buttermilk in a large glass container. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. For the Venetian vinaigrette: Combine the vinegar, garlic, lemon zest and juice in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in the oil slowly to emulsify. Once thickened, whisk in the parsley, cilantro, oregano and scallions. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready for use (or up to 48 hours).
  3. For the court bouillon: Place 12 cups cold water, the celery, carrot, onion, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, chili, lemon and black peppercorns into a large stockpot fitted with a fine mesh colander attachment. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Poach by placing the calamari and the shrimp into the colander and simmering until the calamari is firm and the shrimp is pink, about 3 minutes. Remove to a mixing bowl and set aside. Poach the clams until the shells open, 4 to 6 minutes.
  4. Transfer the clams to the already poached shellfish, discarding any unopened shells. Add the sliced tomato to the shellfish. Toss with two-thirds of the vinaigrette, season and refrigerate until chilled, about 10 minutes.
  5. For the salad: Gently toss the arugula and fennel in a large mixing bowl with the remaining vinaigrette to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large serving dish. Arrange the marinated seafood atop the salad. Garnish with the diced tomatoes, scallions, lemon wedges and fennel fronds around the platter.

2014-07-08 09.57.49

Sometimes a recipe is perfect at its source, that is true of this one.  Credit to: Guy Fieri, The Pictures are my results.

**Disclaimer:  I consider all recipes “advisory opinions”.  Some times the adivce is good and you learn the good; sometimes the adivce is bad and you learn from that too.  Until I grow a new fruit that this earth has never seen, theres a good chance that all of my recipes began somewhere else.  And even if it didn’t, I’m sure you can find one so similar that it will be hard to tell which is the chicken and which is the egg.  Nonetheless, I will always give credit to the first source I began working from, and I will always us the phrase “adapted from….[credit inserted here]”.  I generally make a recipe 3 or 4 times to tweak it to the way the I like it.  I expect you to do the same.  Food is sustinance, sustinance is necessary for life.  Enjoy yours the way you like, and I’ll supply a few ideas.

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