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Italian Seafood Salad

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Packed with flavors of the sea, this Italian Seafood Salad (Insalata di Mare) offers perfectly poached shrimp, scallops, calamari and mussels tossed in a tangy lemon dressing. This seafood appetizer is a must add to your Feast of the Seven Fishes menu.

A blue and white bowl of marinated Italian seafood salad with squid, mussels, shrimp, scallops and lemon wedges

What Kind of Seafood To Use in Italian Seafood Salad

In addition to the traditional seafood options commonly used in Italian seafood salad, you can also experiment with other types of seafood to add variety and flavor to the dish. Here are some alternative seafood options you might consider:

  1. Octopus: Tenderized and cooked octopus, cut into bite-sized pieces, adds a unique chewiness and flavor profile.
  2. Clams: Small clams, such as littleneck or Manila clams, can be steamed and added to the salad for their distinct brininess.
  3. Crab Meat: Lump crab meat or crab legs adds sweetness and a different texture to the salad.
  4. Lobster: Chunks of lobster meat, boiled and chopped, provide a luxurious addition to the seafood mix.

How to Make Seafood Salad

  • Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar, shake well, and taste for seasoning. Store in the fridge.
  • Soak mussels in cold water for 5-10 minutes to remove sand and/or grit.
  • Remove the foot from the scallops. Rinse and cut into quarters.
  • Rinse the calamari tubes and tentacles (if using). Cut the tubes into 1″ rings.
  • If necessary, peel and devein the shrimp, leaving a few with the tail-on. Rinse.
  • In a pot, combine seafood stock, coconut milk, lemon juice, extracted lemons, bay leaves, salt and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add seafood to the broth in individual batches, ensuring they cook evenly. Transfer each cooked seafood batch to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Cook mussels last to prevent affecting other seafood.
  • In a bowl, combine the poached calamari and scallops. Be sure to remove any excess liquid from the ice bath.
  • Cut the shrimp into two or three pieces each, depending on size. Keep a few of the shrimp whole, with the tail-on for presentation. Add all of the shrimp to the bowl with the calamari and scallops.
  • Remove most of the mussels from shells, leaving a few in the shell for plating. Add to the bowl. 
  • Chill the seafood for at least 15 minutes in the fridge.
  • When ready to serve, add in the celery and celery leaves. Drizzle with lemon dressing. Gently toss to coat.
  • Taste. If needed, add more dressing.

Tips and Notes

  • Properly rinse the seafood prior to poaching.
  • Replace any of the seafood in this recipe with seafood of your choice, just keep the amounts the same.
  • Add thinly sliced fennel or carrots for another level of flavor.
  • Alternatively, prepare the scallops ceviche-style instead of poaching. Add the scallops to a non-reactive bowl with plenty of lemon juice and place in the fridge to cure.

Serving and Storing Italian Seafood Salad

Place the Italian Seafood Salad in a serving bowl or platter. Garnish with cracked black pepper and fresh chopped parsley. Serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy as a side dish, salad or light meal.

This chilled seafood salad pairs beautifully with crusty Italian bread, or a side of freshly baked focaccia.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days. Enjoy it chilled or at room temperature for a quick and satisfying leftover meal.

More Seafood to Love

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An Italian seafood salad with poached shrimp, calamari, mussels and scallops on a white platter garnished with fresh parsley and lemon wedges.

Italian Seafood Salad


Description

Packed with flavors of the sea, this Italian Seafood Salad offers perfectly poached shrimp, scallops, calamari and mussels tossed in a tangy lemon dressing. This seafood appetizer is a must add to your Feast of the Seven Fishes menu.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound medium to large, deveined shrimp (tail-on)
  • 1 pound sea scallops, cut into four pieces each
  • 1 1/2 pound mussels
  • 1 pound calamari tubes and tentacles
  • 1 box seafood stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Juice of two lemons, plus extracted lemons
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup celery, sliced thin on the bias
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • Lemon wedges for serving

For the Lemon Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar, shake well, and taste for seasoning. Store in the fridge.
  • Soak mussels in cold water for 5-10 minutes to remove sand and/or grit.
  • Remove the foot from the scallops. Rinse and cut into quarters.
  • Rinse the calamari tubes and tentacles (if using) and cut the tubes into 1″ rings.
  • If needed, devein the shrimp and remove the shell. Leave a few of the shrimp with the tail-on for presentation.
  • In a pot, combine seafood stock, coconut milk, lemon juice, extracted lemons, bay leaves, salt and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the seafood to the broth in individual batches, ensuring they cook evenly. Transfer each cooked seafood batch to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Cook mussels last to prevent affecting other seafood.
  • In a bowl, combine the poached calamari and scallops. Be sure to remove any excess water from the ice bath.
  • Cut the shrimp into two or three pieces each, depending on size. Keep a few of the shrimp whole, with the tail-on for presentation. Add to the bowl with the calamari and scallops.
  • Remove most of the mussels from shells, leaving a few for plating. Add to the bowl. 
  • Chill the seafood in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  • When ready to serve, add the celery and celery leaves. Drizzle with lemon dressing. Gently toss to coat.
  • Taste. If needed, add more dressing.
  • Serve in a bowl or platter, garnished with parsley, cracked black pepper, and lemon wedges.
@charlottefashionplate

Italian Seafood Salad Recipe! Serve this seafood salad over the holidays either chilled, or room temperature! This combination of poached seafood has been a tradition for our Feast of the Seven Fishes celebration on Christmas Eve! #seafood #recipe #cookingtutorial #holidaycountdown #holidayfood #salad #shrimp #holidayvibes #feastofthesevenfishes

♬ Dream Away – Ramol

Notes

  • Ensure all seafood is fresh and properly cleaned/rinsed before poaching.
  • Use a large pot to accommodate all seafood batches during poaching to prevent overcrowding and uneven cooking.
  • Have the poaching liquid just to a gentle simmer.
  • Poach each type of seafood separately to ensure they are cooked perfectly without overcooking.
  • Calamari will cook rather quickly. Overcooking can result in a rubbery texture.
  • Test the doneness of seafood by its texture and color, avoiding rubbery or opaque appearances.
  • Use an ice bath to promptly cool down the cooked seafood and halt the cooking process, preventing overcooking.
  • Reserve a few shrimp with tails for presentation when serving the salad.
  • Add additional vegetables to your liking. Carrots and/or thinly sliced fennel make great additions.
  • Adjust the amount of lemon dressing according to personal taste preferences, drizzling more if desired.
  • Garnish the final dish with fresh parsley and cracked black pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days for optimal freshness.
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer, Dinner
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Seafood

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WELCOME! My name is Melissa Latin aka. Charlotte Fashion Plate. Happy to meet you! I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

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