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Insalate di Frutti di Mare

Photo courtesy of Baraonda
From: Chef/co-owner Costanzo Astarita, Baraonda Ristorante & Bar, Atlanta. Yield: varies.

5 medium calamari
3 dozen mussels
36 clams
4 baby octupuses
16 shrimp, shelled and deveined
juice of 1 lemon
1 bay leaf
5 oz. olive oil
12 oz. white wine
6 black peppercorns
12 oz. onion, sliced
¼ bunch of parsley, chopped
to taste, crushed red pepper
1 clove garlic
1 Roma tomato, finely diced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
to taste, salt and pepper

Place medium pot on stove, ¾ filled with water with 1½ Tbsp. lemon juice added. Add 4 oz. olive oil, 1 bay leaf, 12 oz. white wine, 6 black peppercorns and onion slices. Bring to a boil.  Blanch calamari in mixture for 1 minutes and strain with a spider skimmer. Set aside and cool. Repeat with shrimp until they’re pink (2 minutes) and set aside. Repeat with baby octopus for 3 minutes and set aside.

In another covered pot filled ¼ full with boiling water, steam open the mussels. Once they’re open, remove from pot and remove meat from shell. Set aside. Strain mussel juice through a coffee filter; repeat process with clam water.

In a mixing bowl, combine all seafood. Prepare dressing by mixing lemon juice, olive oil, 1 Tbsp. parsley, 2 pinches crushed pepper, 1 clove of finely chopped garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk ingredients together.

Combine clam and mussel juice and add 3 Tbsp. of the liquid to the seafood (or desired amount). Add celery and tomato; pour dressing over seafood and mix well. Divide onto 4 plates. Top with leftover dressing from bowl and garnish with parsley. Serve with lemon wedge. This dish can be served chilled, or at room temperature.

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