marisa mariella

easy mouthwatering recipes that unite your family and friends

My Sister's Seafood Salad

Thank you to my beautiful sister, Susanna Fortino-Bozzo for sharing her recipe! She created this fresh, colourful, and elegant seafood salad to serve as an antipasto on special occasions like Easter Sunday and Christmas day. My family loves it so much that I now make it throughout the year for other special celebrations or even as a weekend meal. Whether it's served in chilled champagne glasses or on a platter family-style, this seafood salad is delicious and nutritious! This seafood salad is part of a traditional Italian "antipasto" served on special occasions. The photo shows a slice of cantaloupe wrapped with prosciutto and a spear of bocconcini with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil, lightly salted and drizzled with olive oil.
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian



  • 1 kg shrimp, peeled and deveined (16-20 size)
  • 1 pkg (454g) squid that includes tubes and tentacles, cleaned.(You can purchase squid tubes that are already cut into rings.)
  • 1 pkg (400g) Nova Scotian wild sea scallops
  • 3 pkg (227g each) crab-flavoured sea legs, flake style flake style

To poach seafood:

  • 8 cups cold water
  • 1 small onion quartered
  • 1 rib celery chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • A handful of parsley chopped
  • 10-15 whole black peppercorns
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp kosher salt coarse

For salad:

  • 1 red pepper (or mixture of red, yellow, orange), chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, including leaves, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and chopped or shredded
  • 2 bunches green onions, chopped
  • handful parsley, chopped
  • 1 can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 red chili pepper, chopped (optional)
  • ½ radicchio, chopped (optional)
  • lemon, cut in wedges to use as a garnish

For dressing:

  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar, optional
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper


Prepare the seafood:

  • Defrost, peel and devein shrimp. Rinse well. Drain.
  • Defrost squid tubes, detach from tentacles, and cut tubes into rings. Rinse well. Drain.
  • Defrost scallops. Rinse well. Drain.

Poach the seafood:

  • Place all poaching ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and cold water.
  • Prepare to cook seafood (except sea legs), one type at a time. Add squid and cook for 2-5 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon and place in ice bath. Be sure to not include the poaching vegetables and herbs.
  • Do the same with the remaining seafood, separately. Let shrimp cook for 1-3 minutes and scallops for 3-4 minutes. The times are approximate, depending on size of seafood type. Do not overcook. Do not cook sea legs.
  • Discard poaching liquid. (You can also strain the broth, cool and freeze to use as seafood stock.)
  • Drain the cooked seafood and chop each type, including the sea legs, into bite-size pieces.

Prepare the dressing:

  • Add the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk until well combined.

Assemble the salad:

  • In a large bowl, add all the seafood pieces and the salad ingredients. Drizzle the ingredients with the dressing. Toss the salad well and refrigerate for a few hours or best overnight.
  • If using the radicchio, shred and add just before serving. Garnish with lemon wedges.
  • See below for serving suggestions.


Serving Suggestions
  • Be sure to serve the salad very cold. You can adjust seasonings according to your preference. An extra drizzle of lemon juice just before plating brightens the salad.
  • Serve in chilled champagne glasses with a stalk of Belgian Endive and a slice of lemon.
  • Consider serving the salad nestled in a Boston Bibb lettuce leaf or radicchio leaf on a pretty salad plate. Garnish with lemon.
  • Traditionally, it is served with a slice of cantaloupe wrapped with prosciutto and a spear of bocconcini with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil, lightly salted and drizzled with olive oil. Add a wedge of lemon. 
  • If serving family-style, use a pretty platter or bowl. Garnish with lemon wedges. 
  • Store leftovers in the fridge for a couple of days.
You can vary how you would like to flavour the water by changing the fresh herbs and vegetables to poach the seafood. 
You can also vary the quantities of the vegetables in the salad.