Calamari Salad with Avocado and Balsamic Seafood Dressing
This simple idea for a salad combines calamari (squid) with imitation crab, as well as mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and avocado. The dressing is a delicious blend of ingredients like orange juice and extra-virgin olive oil. The fish is poached in a lemon, garlic, and pepper-flavored liquid, just to give it some extra flavor. If you do not have lemon slices, whole peppercorns or garlic cloves you can omit one or two of those, or you can even poach the seafood in plain water.
The squid will only need a couple of minutes and the imitation crab does not need to cook at all but plunging it into simmering water warms it up and gives it the subtle lemon, pepper and garlic flavor the squid will have, so you might as well as that too. As well as the seafood, this tasty salad recipe contains creamy, nutty avocado, smooth mozzarella and juicy cherry tomatoes.
The dressing is made with extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a little black pepper to taste. You can also add a pinch of white sugar to the dressing recipe if you want to, but that is totally up to you, since a lot of people do not like sweetened dressings. If you do not have orange juice, you can use some of the fragrant cooking liquid left in the pan instead.
- 2 lemon slices
- 3 black peppercorns
- 2 peeled, halved garlic cloves
- 1 lb calamari tubes and tentacles
- 1 chopped avocado
- 2 oz chopped mozzarella
- 4 halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 chopped imitation crab sticks
- Handful of cooked shrimp and mussels (optional)
- Lettuce leaves, as needed
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoon orange juice
- White sugar, to taste (optional)
- Black pepper, to taste
- Bring a pan of water to a boil and add the lemon slices, peppercorns and garlic.
- Cover and simmer for 10 minutes to make a flavorful stock.
- Add the calamari and imitation crab and simmer for a couple of minutes or until the calamari is tender.
- Remove with a slotted spoon.
- Divide the lettuce leaves between 2 plates and top with the calamari, imitation crab, avocado, mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes.
- Add the mussels and shrimp if using.
- Whisk the salad dressing ingredients together until the mixture emulsifies (blends together), then drizzle it over the salad.
You can see how the colorful cherry tomatoes and pink shrimp complement the look of this salad. Whether you are looking for an appetizer or a novel idea for lunch, this seafood salad might be just what you need. In Spain such a salad might be served as a “tapa” and tapas are little snacks which are served with a drink. Perhaps you fancy a small savory snack with your late afternoon cup of coffee. You can make this recipe in advance and leave it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. If you do that, either omit the lettuce or else do not dress the salad until just before eating.
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