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Sicilian Seafood Salad

Sicilian Seafood Salad

Sicilian Seafood Salad

One of my favorite experiences in all of my travels is visiting the local seafood markets, and Sicily has it’s share. This salad combines some of my favorite seafood items with celery, olives, arugula and red onions and is tossed with a refreshing Lemon-Caper Dressing.

Sicilian Seafood

Feel free to alter the seafood you use in this salad. At home in Maine, I often add scallops and, of course, Maine lobster. Octopus can be found at better seafood markets and is usually purchased frozen.


Below is a short video on cleaning whole calamari, from our Foodie Adventure to Spain, where we use it in my Paella recipe.

Sicilian Seafood Salad

Recipe by Michael SalmonCourse: SaladsCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 batch Court Bouillon (recipe below)

  • 1/2 pound octopus

  • 1/2 pound young calamari, cleaned

  • 1/2 pound large shrimp, whole

  • 1/2 pound mussels

  • 1/2 pound small clams

  • 1 lemon, zest and juice

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley

  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

  • 1 cup young celery leaves

  • 3 stalks celery, peeled and julienned

  • 1 medium-sized red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and sliced

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley

  • 1 cup baby arugula leaves

  • Lemon-Caper Dressing (recipe below)

  • Court Bouillon
  • 1 lemon

  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced

  • 2 stalks celery, sliced

  • 6 black peppercorns

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 6 parsley stems

  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt

  • Lemon-Caper Dressing
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 lemon, zest and juice

  • 2 Tablespoons of chopped capers

  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (more if you like it hot)

  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste


  • Bring the strained Court Bouillon to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  • Add the octopus to the court bouillon and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Add the shrimp to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the octopus and shrimp from the court bouillon and cool them slightly. Keep the court bouillon in the pan for cooking the mussels and clams later.
  • Slice the octopus into 1/4-inch slices and peel and devein the shrimp. Reserve.
  • Soak the mussels and clams in cold salted water for 1 hour, changing the water a few times to clean them.
  • Heat the grill or a grill pan until very hot. Cut the calamari tubes into thick rings and place in a bowl with the tentacles, octopus slices and cooked shrimp. Toss with olive oil, the lemon juice and zest, Italian parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Grill the seafood briefly, just to cook the calamari through and impart a charred flavor.
  • Drain the cleaned clams and mussels. Bring the court bouillon back to a boil and add the mussels and clams. Cover and cook for about 4 minutes, or until most of them are open. Remove the mussels and clams from the court bouillon and cool. Keep some of the mussels and clams in their shells for garnish and remove the remainder from their shells.
  • In a bowl, combine the young celery leaves, julienne celery, sliced red onion, olives, parsley and arugula. Drizzle with some of the Lemon-Caper Dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place a mound of the salad in the center of a chilled plate and surround with the seafood. Drizzle with a little more dressing and serve.
  • Court Bouillon
  • Make a court bouillon by combining the juice and zest from 1 lemon with the sliced onion and celery, black peppercorns, bay leaf, white wine, vinegar, parsley stems, salt and 1 quart of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking for 10 minutes. Strain out and discard the solids and return the liquid to the pan.
  • Lemon-Caper Dressing
  • Combine all of the ingredient and whisk to combine.

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