Seafood salad

(debra samuels)
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July 23, 2008

Serves 4 as a main course, 8 as an appetizer

Plump scallops, gleaming squid, translucent shrimp, and hard-shell clams hiding their briny promise are sitting on chipped ice in front of me in the seafood case. They all look so good. Why choose just one? The classic Italian seafood salad, insalata di mare, combines all these treasures. In this popular antipasto, scallops, squid, and shrimp are cooked quickly with lemon slices. The squid tentacles curl into pretty purple shapes; all you have to do is slice the bodies into tender rings. Diced red and green bell peppers add bright color to your bounty from the sea, which sparkles with a lemony vinaigrette.

4 thick slices lemon
1/2 pound scallops
1/2 pound squid, bodies and tentacles
1/2 pound shrimp
1/2 cup water
1/2 pound littleneck clams, soaked and scrubbed
1/4 red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 green bell pepper, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup olive oil, or to taste
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Half fill a medium saucepan with water and the lemon slices. Bring to a boil. Add the scallops, squid, and shrimp. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes or until the seafood is opaque. Turn off the heat, cover, and steam for 3 minutes. Drain into a colander and transfer to a large bowl.

2. Fill the same saucepan with the water. Add the clams. Cover and cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until the clams open. Discard any that do not open.

3. Remove the clams from the shells and add to the seafood mixture with the bell peppers, garlic, and parsley. Toss gently.

4. Sprinkle with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Taste for seasoning and add more oil, lemon, salt, or pepper, if you like. Debra Samuels

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