Chilled Italian Seafood Salad

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr
  • Prep: 1 hr 35 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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1 pound calamari tentacles and tubes, cleaned and cut into 1-inch rings

2 cups buttermilk

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

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

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 plum tomato, seeded and finely diced

2 scallions, sliced on the bias

1 lemon, cut into wedges


  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.