This recipe is a labor of love. But the boon is everything can be prepped ahead of time, which makes serving a breeze. Make sure you have a large enough vessel to fit everything at the end. It’s essential to toss it all together in the same bowl prior to serving to ensure the seasoning is even and bright.
Recipe Adapted from Daniel Gritzer/Serious Eats
- ¾ pound sea scallops, medium dice
- 2 cups fresh lemon juice, divided
- ½ onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 fennel ends, washed and roughly sliced (use scraps from fennel used for salad)
- 1 cup celery scrap, washed and roughly sliced (use from celery in salad)
- 1/2 cup white wine or dry vermouth
- 2 pounds shrimp, 26-30 count, peeled and deveined
- 4 pounds mussels, debearded and washed well
- 2t coriander seed
- 5 peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ lemon, striped with a peeler
- 2 pounds squid, cleaned, bodies sliced, tentacles halved
- Kosher salt
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 bulbs fennel, shaved thinly on a mandolin or with a sharp knife (save scraps for seafood poach, see above)
- 8 pieces celery, peeled and cut on a sharp bias (save scraps for seafood poach, see above)
- 1 bunch parsley, minced
- ¼ C chervil, minced
- ¼ C chives, minced
- ¼ C dill, minced
- 2T celery leaves, minced
- 3t coriander seed, toasted and crushed
- 2t freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 pinches cayenne pepper
- ½ C lemon juice
- ¼ C parsley
- 1 C extra-virgin olive oil
In a non-reactive stainless-steel bowl, toss the scallops with a big pinch of salt and cover with lemon juice (roughly 1 cup). Marinate for 1 hour, then strain the scallops and set aside in the fridge.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in an 8-quart rondeau. Sweat the onion, garlic, fennel and celery scarps over medium-low heat until softened, no color. Add the mussels, a large pinch of salt and the wine. Shake the pan vigorously and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Steam the mussels until they open, 4-6 minutes, over medium-high heat. Once opened, scoop out the mussels and transfer to a sheet tray to cool completely. Discard any mussels that don’t open.
Add 2 quarts of cold water to the mussel steaming liquid along with 3 big pinches of salt, coriander, bay leaves, black peppercorns and lemon peel. Add the squid to the poaching liquid and cook to tender, taking care not to let the water heat past a gentle simmer (170 degrees). It should take around 5 minutes, depending on the temperature of your cooking liquid. It’s cooked once it’s opaque and slightly springy to the touch. Once cooked, scoop the squid out, toss with 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and cool on a sheet tray.
Add another 2 big pinches of salt to the poaching liquid. Bring it up to a simmer, add the shrimp and turn off the heat. Let the shrimp cook gently until pink, 3-4 minutes. Scoop out the shrimp, toss with 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice and let cool.
Make the vinaigrette: Put everything minus the olive oil in a bowl and whisk well. Slowly stream in the oil and whisk. Set aside.
Once all the seafood is cool, pick the meat out of all but 15 mussels. Toss the mussels with the rest of the seafood, half the vinaigrette, and a couple large pinches of salt. At this point, the salad can rest overnight in the fridge.
When ready to assemble the salad, toss the dressed seafood with the sliced vegetables and minced herbs (to peel celery, use a peeler to peel the ribs off the outer surface of the celery – this makes eating the celery much more pleasant). Taste and adjust the seasoning with more vinaigrette and/or salt. Serve chilled with extra vinaigrette on the side.
Here’s a recipe that pays well-deserved homage to fresh herbs. It’s my favorite way to eat salmon. The original recipe says to bake the salmon on a bed of rock salt to ensure even, slow cooking. I skip this step, not because it’s useless, but because I don’t always have heaps of coarse salt lying around. I bake the fish slowly in a gently heated oven and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t overcook. But if you have coarse salt, cover the sheet pan first with aluminum foil, then a layer of rock salt. Lay the fish on top of the salt, skin-side down.
I like the classic mixture of fines herbs: parsley, chives, chervil and tarragon. You could do any combination of fresh herbs you have on hand. A squeeze of lemon is all it needs. If you have crème fraiche or Greek yogurt on hand, a dollop of that on the side makes it.
- 2 pounds wild salmon, skin-on, pin bones removed
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper
- ½ C parsley, minced
- ¼ C tarragon, minced
- ¼ C chives, minced
- ¼ C chervil, minced
- 1 lemon, zested
- 2 t coriander seed, toasted and crushed in a mortar and pestle
- 2T shallots, minced
- 3T red wine vinegar
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 t sugar
- ½ t kosher salt
- 1 t Dijon mustard
- ½ C extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Lay the salmon on a parchment-lined sheet tray, skin-side down. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and rub the oil into the skin. In a bowl, mix together the herbs and lemon zest and coriander. Pat this mixture onto the flesh of the fish. The oil should help the herbs adhere to the skin.
Once the salmon is in the oven, turn the temperature down to 275 degrees and roast it to your desired doneness. This will depend on your oven and the thickness of your filet, so use a thermometer if you’re not sure. I like mine medium-rare, which means I pull it from the oven at around 110 degrees. This generally takes around 20 minutes in my home oven with convection. When you take the temperature, be sure to probe in the thickest part of the filet. Pull it 5 degrees lower than your desired doneness to account for carry-over cooking.
As the salmon rests, mix the vinaigrette. Add the shallots to a small jar with a lid. Cover with red wine vinegar and lemon juice and let sit for 5 mins to soften slightly. Add the rest of the ingredients. Shake well. Drizzle vinaigrette over salmon to serve.