Seafood Salad

This is a delicious cold salad that is best made a day ahead and will last for a few days in the fridge. Nanny made this without the shrimp around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and it brings back wonderful memories. She always made it a day before and added the black olives last so they would not discolor the mixture. We add the shrimp for the non-squid eaters in our family. Next time, we may go ahead and combine the black olives and parsley at the beginning with the salad since we did not notice any ill-effects. Then again, maybe not – why mess with tradition?

Servings and Times

Serves: 10
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Tools and Appliances

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This is an update of a previous recipe: December 27, 2001


We start preparing this salad the night before we want to serve. We put two pots of water to boil on the stove, one large and one medium. While the waters are coming to a boil, we defrost the squid in a large colander in the sink under cold running water. As the bodysacs are defrosted, we cut them into rings with scissors. For our batch of squid, this means that most of the pieces just need to be cut in thirds.

The waters are boiling as we finish cutting the rings. To the large pot of boiling water, we add the squid rings and a pinch of salt. We simmer, uncovered, until very tender – about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, we gather our defrosted tentacles. We add the tentacles to the other pot of boiling water, along with a pinch of salt, and cook for about 35 minutes until very tender. We wash our hands well.

While the squid is cooking, we prepare the vegetables. We smash our garlic, discard the peels, and mince. This yields ½ tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon. We also get ready our celery, carrots, and green olives.

As each pot of squid is done, we drain into a clean colander and top with ice for a few minutes to stop the cooking. We place the cooled rings and the cooled tentacles into a large serving bowl. We have 2 cups of rings and 1 cup of tentacles when they are cooked.

Into the serving bowl, we combine the cooked squid, celery, carrots, green olives, salt, pepper, ½ tablespoon of garlic, capers and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

We mix the lemon juice and olive oil in a measuring cup. We pour ¾ of the dressing into the salad bowl and toss well. To the remaining dressing, we add the rest of the garlic and some red pepper flakes. We reserve this dressing for the shrimp when it is time to serve.

We cover the squid salad and dressing with plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator. We start defrosting the frozen already cooked shrimp in a colander in the fridge over a large bowl, covered with foil, as indicated on the back of the bag of shrimp.

The next day, we stir the salad a few times (as Nanny always did). Before serving, we add the black olives and parsley, more seasoning, the defrosted shrimp and the rest of the dressing.

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