Summer Seafood Salad
Please rate this Summer Seafood Salad here:
Summer Seafood Salad-light and healthy
Summer temperatures can reach a three-digit mark in many areas of the United States, as well as in other countries of the world. Certainly, the thought of standing over a hot stove preparing dinner, or worse, heating up the entire kitchen while a meal is cooking in the oven, is unappealing. Therefore, when the temperatures climb we want a refreshing meal that is both healthy and light.
One of my favorite recipes for any time of the year is the seafood salad recipe my youngest daughter, Christa, introduced to me a couple of years ago. It was presented, not during the hot summer, but in the middle of winter on a cold December evening. It was a real treat because it held my favorite foods: shrimp, mussels, and scallops, a cornucopia of treasures from the sea.
She surprised me with this wonderful dish on New Year’s Eve and it quickly became a very special meal. It is elegant enough to stand as a main course for a celebratory event, hearty enough to fix for a hungry group, and healthy enough for the most die-hard vegetarian in the crowd.
When I recently visited Christa and her family on their Florida vacation, she made it a point to save one of the family meals for this ‘summer’ seafood salad. She knows how much I enjoy it and was excited that we were in an area where fresh seafood was in abundance. One afternoon, she and I went shopping at the local fish market and later stopped to pick up the fresh parsley and other ingredients to make the vinaigrette. I’m not sure which brought more joy-the uninterrupted time spent together, or the meal shared.
If you like seafood, this recipe is sure to please. If cooking is your strong point, the steps will not challenge you. However, if you are a novice in the kitchen you may feel a bit intimidated in trying your culinary skills with this recipe. I urge you to relax, be patient with yourself and stick with the process. In the end, I guarantee you will be proud of your results. No matter how it turns out, it is sure to be a cooking adventure!
Summer Seafood Salad
Ingredients to Summer Seafood SaladClick thumbnail to view full-size
- 1 ½ lbs. (about 25-30) large shrimp
- 1-2 lbs bay scallops
- 3 lbs mussels
- 3 lemons, 2 for zest & juice; 1 for garnish
- 2 tsp. salt, kosher
- 1/2 tsp. pepper, fresh ground
- 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. thyme, fresh, removed from stems
- 3 T. parsley, fresh, chopped
- 1-2 T. lemon zest, approximately 2 lemons
- 1-2 T. capers
- 3/4 C. celery, approximately 2 stalks
- 1/2 C white wine vinegar
- 2 T champagne or white wine vinegar, in addition to 1/2 C.
- 1/4 C. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 T. Cook's champagne
How to make a Seafood Salad
- Seafood: Prepare all seafood by peeling and deveining shrimp, rinsing the scallops under cold water, and washing the outside of the mussels, removing the beards.
- Heat 8 C of cold water to a boil.
- Add 1/2 C white wine vinegar to the pot of boiling water.
- Cook shrimp for about 2 minutes or until pink and firm.
- Remove from water and place in a large bowl, but keep the pot boiling.
- Add scallops and cook about 3-4 minutes until firm. Remove from water and add to the shrimp bowl.
- Drain all but 1/2 C. of the seafood water. Bring to a boil. Add mussels and steam for 3-5 minutes until shells have opened. Discard any mussels who are still closed after 5 minutes of cooking.
- Drain and remove mussels from shells adding them to the seafood bowl.
- Sauce: Remove thyme from stems and add to a large pan with ½ C. olive oil.
- Mince garlic and add to the pan.
- Zest 2 lemons and add the zest to the pan.
- Add capers to the pan and heat on low for one minute stirring constantly and taking care not to burn the garlic.
- Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and white wine vinegar mixing thoroughly. Pour over the seafood.
- Celery and parsley finish: Chop celery and add to the seafood bowl
- Chop parsley and add to the seafood bowl. Mix gently with other ingredients.
- Chill in refrigerator for 1 – 2 hours. Just before serving add a sprinkle of kosher salt and toss lightly.
- Add thinly sliced lemons to garnish.
- Serve on rice with the sauce from the vinaigrette, or on a large lettuce leaf.
- Add Italian or French bread to complete the meal.
- Serve with white wine.
Boiled shrimp & scallops with steamed musselsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Preparing the sauce for the Seafood SaladClick thumbnail to view full-size
Important facts about seafood salad recipe
Never use mussels that are unopened after cooking. These must be discarded
Fresh shrimp can be purchased shelled and deveined to save time
Chop, measure and prepare all ingredients before starting the cooking process
Kosher salt has a larger crystal and is preferred by many chefs
Table salt is finer. Decrease by half when substituting for kosher salt.
Bay scallops are smaller in size in comparison to Sea scallops.
Capers can be heated with garlic or added to the seafood bowl without heating