Grandpa Vic’s Xmas Eve Seafood Salad
Rachael’s mother-in-law, Vicki Cusimano, shares this recipe with us from her father and recalls her memories of Christmas Eve and this dish:
“Our parents always brought the seafood salad, which our father prepared ahead of time. Everyone loved it. It was his signature dish and he served it with great pride. Long after our mother passed away, he continued to bring it to family functions. The year before he died, we had Christmas Eve at our sister’s house. We all noticed that his seafood salad was not up to par. Tactfully, we asked what recipe he had used and he told us that his fish store had made the salad for him. For the first and only time it was store-bought. It was quite a revelation!” – Vicki and Annette
Try this dish for your Feast of Seven Fishes celebration!
- 4 lobsters (1 1/4 pounds each)
- 5 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 3 pounds bay scallops
- 2 pounds calamari
- 6 celery stalks, diced
- 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Juice of 8-10 lemons
- 2 cups extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more as needed
Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the lobsters and cook until the shells are bright red, 10-12 minutes. Use tongs to remove the lobsters from the pot and let them cool.
While the lobsters cool, add half of the shrimp to the same pot the lobsters were cooked in and cook for 2 minutes, or until they are just pink; use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked shrimp to a bowl to cool. Repeat with the remaining shrimp. When all the shrimp are cool, cut them in half and place them in a large mixing bowl.
In the same pot, cook the scallops for 5 minutes, or until tender. Scoop them from the water with a slotted spoon and let cool. Repeat with the calamari, cooking for 5 minutes or until tender. Scoop them from the water with a slotted spoon and let cool. Discard all but 2 cups of the cooking water.
When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, crack the shells and remove the meat. Cut into bite-size pieces and add the lobster to the bowl with the shrimp. Add the cooled scallops and calamari.
Stir together the chopped celery, garlic and parsley and add them to the bowl, stirring to distribute them throughout the seafood. Add the juice of eight lemons, the EVOO and the cooled seafood-cooking liquid and stir again. Refrigerate the salad, stirring every 6-8 hours. Just before serving, add more lemon juice and EVOO, to taste.