This is a popular salad throughout Italy and the ingredients will differ slightly from each region. Italian salads (insalata) are simple and ingredients are harvested at the peak of seasons which guarantees freshness and loads of flavor. Olives are fruits of the tree known as Olea europaea. “Olea” is the Latin word for “oil,” reflecting the olives very high fat content, of which 75% is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. Olives are a good source of dietary fiber, iron and Vitamin E.
recipe from Ultimate Italian magazine
12 oz. fresh or frozen peeled and deveined medium shrimp
8 oz. fresh or frozen scallops
8 oz. fresh or frozen cleaned squid
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup green pitted olives
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons snipped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 large bunch watercress or rocket
Thaw shrimp, scallops and squid, if frozen. Rinse shrimp and scallops and pat dry with paper towels. Rinse squid and drain in a colander. Cut squid into thin rings and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until opaque. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to a large bowl. Add scallops to hot skillet and stir for 1-2 minutes until opaque. Use a slotted spoon to transfer scallops to the bowl. Add squid to hot skillet; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until squid is opaque. Remove squid with slotted spoon and place in the bowl with the shrimp and scallops. Stir in Kalamata and green olives.
For the dressing: In a screw top jar, combine 1/3 cup olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, oregano, garlic, chives, salt and crushed red pepper. Cover and shake well. Pour dressing over seafood mixture and gently toss to coat. Cover and chill 2-4 hours. To serve, let seafood mixture stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Divide watercress or rocket among plates. Use a slotted spoon to spoon seafood mixture on top of watercress. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: When plating up, I added a bit of the dressing on top of the salad and any excess juices were quickly mopped up by freshly baked bread. Yum! Does it get any better than this?