We are hopeless sentimentalists when it comes to the holidays and special occasions!
Seafood salad marinated is always served as the first course during our Christmas Eve dinner, known as the feast of seven fishes! This has been and still is a southern Italian Christmas tradition, when we spend weeks of preparation setting the stage for "La Vigilia," Christmas Eve, celebrating the birth of Jesus!
The tradition of "La Vigilia" is all about the "feast of seven fishes," serving seven types of seafood. When I did some googling, I found out that in Italy, the number seven represents the seven sacraments in the Roman Catholic church, where as in other traditions, it holds that seven courses represent the last week of Advent.
So I decided to make an easier version of our Mom's recipe for "frutta di mare" with only two types of seafood, squid and shrimps marinated with green olives, parsley, garlic and celery in a lemon vinaigrette. Packed with flavors, it is very light, high in protein, low in calories and in fat! It is the ultimate seafood salad EVER! ....and oh so delicious! If you are a Seafood LOVER... you'll love this one!
Although our mom would definitely not approve of reducing her recipe, shh... we prefer not to tell her. She makes the traditional "frutta di mare" every year on Christmas Eve which is a marinated medley of squid, shrimp, octopus, and scungilli. Moms salad is really AMAZING, and its more work. But, it is the one seafood dish everyone looks forward to on Christmas Eve!
Here's a Tip: This salad is very easy to make and cost effective. I highly recommend buying the "already cleaned" seafood at your local fish market. It really helps in cutting the time in half. It is a wonderful seafood salad and one your family and friends will love you for it! Enjoy!
Seafood Salad Marinated
- 2 -3 pounds small squid bodies (calamari) - already cleaned
- 1 pound shrimp- cleaned, deveined- cut in halves
- Juice 2 to 3 lemons (to taste)
- 5 ounce lg. pimento martini olives-rinsed, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley- chopped
- 4 garlic cloves - sliced
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
- 3 stalks of celery - sliced
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- ground black pepper to taste
In a shallow bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients.
Mix well and set aside.
Rinse the squid thoroughly in cold water. Remove any plastic-like spine bone from the inside. Cut the bodies into 1/4 to 1/2 inch rings. Set aside.
In a large sauce pan, bring 4 cups of water to boil.
Add some salt.
Add the shrimp and boil until they turn pink, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and let cool.
Cut each shrimp in half.
Add the squid rings to the boiling water and boil until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.
The squid should be tender, not chewy. Drain well.
Toss the shrimp and squid in the marinade. Mix well.
Cover and let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator, turning the mixture occasionally.
Allow the salad to come to room temperature before serving. Transfer to a large salad platter and serve.
From Our Families to Yours... Merry Christmas!
Take care everyone and have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones! Thanks for stopping by! We will see you all again after the weekend. Enjoy!