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Recipes: Three tasty options for summer seafood salad

Choose your favorite flavor: light and lemony, perfectly creamy, or hot and sour.

 Mediterranean-Style  Seafood Salad

Photo by anthony tieuli; food styling by Sheila jarnes/Ennis inc.

Mediterranean-style seafood salad.

A midsummer meal of mixed seafood salad feels decadent, yet still healthy and light enough for the season. For shrimp and squid of optimum tenderness, I’ve learned that you have to cook them slowly and gently until they are just done — an instant-read thermometer is an invaluable aid here.

The dressing for the Mediterranean-style salad features the familiar, welcome refrains of lemon, garlic, and extra-virgin olive oil, with shallots and capers added for good measure. The Scandinavian version, which is just creamy enough, is complex, with layered, harmonious flavors of lime, cilantro, crab, and smoked salmon. In the hot and sour version, the subtle sweetness of shrimp, snow peas, and red bell pepper is countered with pops of lime and sriracha.

MEDITERRANEAN-STYLE SEAFOOD SALAD

Makes about 8 cups

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I save and freeze the seafood poaching liquid, which makes a flavorful base for seafood risotto or soup.

½      cup extra-virgin olive oil

2        medium garlic cloves, smashed, plus 1 teaspoon pressed or grated garlic (about 1 large clove)

4        pounds mussels, rinsed or scrubbed and debearded if necessary

1/3       cup juice, divided, and ½ teaspoon finely grated zest from 2 lemons, plus more juice to taste and wedges for serving

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1         pound extra-large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), shelled and deveined

1         pound cleaned squid, bodies cut into ¼-inch-thick rings and tentacles cut in half lengthwise

1         tablespoon red wine vinegar

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Salt and ground black pepper

½      cup minced shallot (about 2 medium)

3        tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped

2        small celery ribs, bias-cut into ½-inch slices (about 1½ cups)

1         medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced ½ inch (about 1 cup)

½      cup chopped fresh parsley

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, mix 1 tablespoon of the oil and the 2 smashed garlic cloves and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant and light golden brown, about 6 minutes. Remove the garlic and discard, add ¾ cup water, adjust the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the mussels and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until they open, about 5 minutes (discard any mussels that do not open after about 7 minutes). With a large slotted spoon or spider skimmer, transfer the mussels to a large bowl (saving the liquid in the pot). When they are cool enough to handle, remove about a dozen small mussels in their shells, cover, and refrigerate until serving time. Remove the meats from the remaining shells, discard the shells, and cover and refrigerate the meats.

To the saved cooking liquid, add 4 cups cool water, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, the shrimp, and the squid. Adjust the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid’s temperature reaches 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer and the shrimp and squid are barely firm, about 3 to 4½ minutes. Transfer the shrimp and squid to a bowl and when the shrimp are cool enough to handle, halve them lengthwise. Discard any liquid accumulated in the bowl, return the shrimp to it, cover, and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons lemon juice, lemon zest, vinegar, pressed or grated garlic, red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Vigorously whisk in the remaining oil to blend. Add the mussel meats, shrimp, squid, shallots, and capers, stir to coat, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or up to 24 hours) for flavors to develop. Before serving, rest the mixture at room temperature for a few minutes to lose its chill. Add the remaining lemon juice, celery, red bell pepper, and most of the parsley, and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt, black pepper, or lemon juice if necessary. Arrange the mussels in their shells attractively on the salad, sprinkle with the remaining parsley, and serve at once with lemon wedges.

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SCANDINAVIAN-STYLE SEAFOOD SALAD

Makes about 8 cups

This seafood salad, which I adapted from Aquavitby Marcus Samuelsson (Houghton Mifflin, 2003), is a huge hit at my friend Liz Ekwall’s annual smorgasbord. When you consider timing, note that the recipe calls for roasted potatoes (which you can buy at a hot-food bar). If you’re roasting them at home, peeling them after they’re roasted and cooled, rather than before, helps keep them moist.

2        tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1½    pounds extra-large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), shelled and deveined

1½    teaspoons minced anchovy (about 3 medium-small fillets, preferably oil-packed)

3        tablespoons mayonnaise

3        tablespoons sour cream

1/3       cup fresh lime juice

½      cup minced shallot (about 2 medium)

3        tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and pepper

1         pound Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 medium-small), roasted, cooled, peeled, and cut into ¾-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

3        hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)

1         large celery rib, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)

8        ounces high-quality crab meat, picked over for shell fragments (about 1½ cups)

6       ounces sliced smoked salmon, chopped (about 1 cup)

½      cup chopped fresh parsley

½      cup thinly sliced scallion whites and greens (about 3 large)

Place 4 cups cool water, the lemon juice, and the shrimp in a large saucepan. Set the pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid’s temperature reaches 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer and the shrimp are barely firm, 6½ to 8 minutes. With a large slotted spoon or spider skimmer, transfer shrimp to a bowl. When the shrimp are cool enough to handle, halve them lengthwise. Discard any liquid accumulated in the bowl, return the shrimp to it, cover, and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the anchovy, mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, shallot, cilantro, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper until combined and uniform. Add the roasted potatoes, eggs, celery, and the reserved shrimp and fold to coat with dressing. Add the crab meat and smoked salmon and fold to combine. Cover and refrigerate for the flavors to meld, about 2 hours. Add the parsley and most of the scallions and fold gently to combine. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Sprinkle with the remaining scallions and serve.

TIP: MUSSELS KNOW-HOW

Inspect your mussels before cooking them, and discard or compost any that are open. Likewise, do not consume any mussels that have remained closed after cooking.

anthony tieuli

Inspect your mussels before cooking them, and discard or compost any that are open. Likewise, do not consume any mussels that have remained closed after cooking.

HOT AND SOUR-STYLE SEAFOOD SALAD

Makes about 9 cups

Chilling the ingredients and then dressing them at the last minute allows for maximum punch from the lime and sriracha, which can dull as the salad sits.

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1½ pounds extra-large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), shelled and deveined

1½ pounds cleaned squid, bodies cut into ¼-inch-thick rings and tentacles cut in half lengthwise

Salt and ground black pepper

3 cups snow peas (about 8 ounces)

1 large carrot, scraped and cut into 2-inch matchsticks (about 11/3 cups)

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more, to taste, plus lime wedges for serving

1½ tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)

1½ teaspoons pressed or grated garlic (about 2 medium cloves)

1 tablespoon sriracha or other hot pepper sauce, or more, to taste

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons tomato paste

1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 2-inch matchsticks

4 medium scallions, trimmed, whites thinly sliced and greens cut into 1-inch lengths

¼ cup chopped cilantro

Place 6 cups cool water, the lemon juice, the shrimp, and the squid in a large saucepan. Set the pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid’s temperature reaches 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer and the shrimp and squid are barely firm, 11 to 15 minutes. With a large slotted spoon or spider skimmer, transfer shrimp and squid to a large bowl (saving the liquid in the pot). When the shrimp are cool enough handle, halve them lengthwise. Discard any liquid accumulated in the bowl, return the shrimp to it, cover, and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, place a colander in the sink, fill a large bowl with ice water, and return the seafood poaching liquid to a rapid boil over high heat. When the liquid boils, add 1½ teaspoons salt and the snow peas, and cook for 25 seconds. Add the carrot and continue cooking until the peas are bright green and barely tender, about 20 seconds longer. Drain the peas and carrot in the colander and immediately dump them into the ice water to stop cooking; stir until cooled fully, about 1 minute. Drain again and blot dry. String the peapods if desired and bias-cut each one in half. Add the peas and carrots to the bowl with the shrimp and squid, cover, and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk the lime juice, vinegar, fish sauce, garlic, sriracha, sugar, tomato paste, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste until well-blended. Add the dressing, bell pepper, scallions and most of the cilantro to the seafood mixture and toss to combine. Adjust the seasoning with lime juice, sriracha, salt, and black pepper if necessary. Sprinkle with the remaining cilantro and serve at once with lime wedges.

Adam Ried appears regularly on “America’s Test Kitchen.” Send comments to cooking@globe.com.
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