Fritto Misto of Calamari, Lemon, and Scallops

Total Time:
18 min
15 min
3 min

4 as antipasto

  • 2 quarts extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
  • 1 pound fresh calamari, cleaned and drained
  • 2 lemons, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices, plus 2 lemons, cut in wedges for garnish
  • 1/2 pound sea scallops, cut in 1/2 across the equator, (dry or diver)
  • 2 cups cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pour enough oil into a deep pan to fill the pan a little less than halfway. Be sure to use a pan into which you can insert a large basket, or strainer with a handle, for frying. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until just smoking. If you have a high temperature thermometer, the temperature of the oil throughout the frying process should remain at about 360 to 375 degrees F.

  • In a wide, shallow bowl, mix 1/2 the calamari, 1/2 the lemon slices, and 1/2 the scallops. Sprinkle the mixture with 1 cup cornstarch and salt and, using your hands, toss the mixture quickly so that the cornstarch coats everything. Toss the coated mixture into the basket (or large strainer) with a handle. Bat the strainer against your hand to shake off any excess cornstarch.

  • Carefully drop the coated seafood and lemon mixture into the hot oil and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 1 minute. Remove the fritto to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Immediately repeat, combining the remaining lemons, calamari, scallops, and cornstarch.

  • Season the hot fried foods with salt and pepper and serve immediately with fresh lemon wedges.

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