Insalata di mare (Italian seafood salad)

    3 hours 20 min

    An Italian seafood salad or insalata di mare made with squid, prawns and octopus. The secret is to marinade the seafood in olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and salt for 2 hours before adding the vegetables.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 200g cleaned squid
    • 200g fresh prawns
    • 1 small octopus (500-700g)
    • extra virgin olive oil, as needed
    • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    • 1 lemon, juiced
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 3 carrots, julienned
    • 2 celery stalks, julienned
    • 1/2 red onion, chopped or cut in rings
    • a few sprigs fresh parsley, finely chopped

    Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Extra time:2hr chilling  ›  Ready in:3hr20min 

    1. Cook the seafood separately. Start with the squid, cooking in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and cut in strips or rounds. Cool and set aside.
    2. Add the prawns to a boiling water pot. Remove from heat and leave in the hot water for 2 minutes. Drain, then shell and devein them. Cool and set aside.
    3. Bring to a boil a big pot with salted water and add a wine cork (see note). Stick a roasting fork in the head of the octopus, slowly dip it in the water and lift it up. Repeat 3 times. The tentacles will immediately curl. Then, add the octopus to the salted water and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool in its cooking water, about 20 minutes longer. Once cold, chop in 3-4cm pieces and place in a large bowl. Cool and set aside.
    4. Place all the seafood in a salad serving bowl. Add oil, vinegar, lemon juice and salt. Toss and refrigerate for 2 hours.
    5. Remove from the fridge, drain the marinade and add sliced carrots, celery, red onions and parsley. Serve.

    Cooking octopus:

    In many Italian recipes you'll find that a wine cork is added to the boiling water when cooking octopus. This choice is not 100% supported by cooking science. It is true that the tannin present in the wine cork should help soften up the octopus; however, the quantity of tannin will likely will be so minimal, I would not be 100% sure it works for real!

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