Seafood Salad Marinated for Christmas Eve!

Seafood Salad Marinated for Christmas Eve by 2sistersrecipes.com

Seafood Salad Marinated for Christmas Eve.  Seafood Salad, marinated days before being served, has been our holiday tradition as the first course served on Christmas Eve for as long as we can remember.  Mom would spend days in the kitchen preparing her menu for Christmas Eve dinner, and everyone couldn’t wait to eat her seafood salad. But we made a simple version of her salad, and it’s divine!

Italian Seafood Salad for Christmas…

Our mom would make the traditional seafood salad which was so delicious and consisted of five (and sometimes even seven) different types of fish.

Today, we’re excited to show you how to make a simpler version of her seafood salad, and it is made with a medley of two types of fish; squid (also known as calamari) and shrimp.

Then these fishes are marinated with green olives, parsley, garlic, and celery in a lemon vinaigrette.

This seafood salad is also commonly known as “Frutta di Mare.”

OK, we are hopeless sentimentalists when it comes to the holidays and special occasions!

Seafood Salad Marinated for Christmas by 2sistersrecipes.com

Marinated Seafood Salad is always served as our first course during our Christmas Eve dinner, known as the feast of seven fishes!

This has been and still is today, a southern Italian Christmas tradition, where we spend weeks of preparation setting the stage for “La Vigilia,” Christmas Eve, celebrating the birth of Jesus! 

The tradition of “La Vigilia” is all about the “feast of seven fishes,” serving seven types of seafood. 

We make seven fish dishes because they represent the seven sacraments according to the Roman Catholic church, whereas in other traditions, the seven courses represent the last week of Advent.

Mom’s seafood salad is packed with flavors, it is very light, high in protein, and low in calories, and fat!  It is the ultimate seafood salad EVER! ….and oh so delicious!  

If you are a Seafood LOVER… you’ll love this one!

Seafood Salad Marinated for Christmas Eve. by 2sistersrecipes.com
 
 
 

Although our mom would not approve of reducing her recipe, shh… we prefer not to tell her.  She makes this holiday traditional “Frutta di mare” every year on Christmas Eve consisting of squid, shrimp, octopus, scungilli, and scallops.

Mom’s salad is really special and totally AMAZING!  

But it is definitely a lot of work because she has to cook each fish separately before assembling them together. 

This is a seafood dish she would normally prepare three days before serving.

This Seafood Salad Marinated is the first and one of the seven seafood dishes we always serve on Christmas Eve.  And it’s the most favorite!

Here’s a Great Tip:

  • Our seafood salad is very easy to make, and cost-effective.  However, when buying seafood, we highly recommend you purchase the “already cleaned” seafood at your local fish market.  This way it will definitely save you some time; cutting the time and the prep work in half!

If you plan ahead, this is a wonderful seafood salad to make.  It is such a delicious dish, and one of your family and friends will love you for it!  

ENJOY!!

How to make our Seafood Salad Marinated for Christmas…

For this recipe, you will only need two types of seafood:

  • calamari
  • shrimp

Ingredients Needed for Seafood Salad:

  • 2 -3 pounds small squid bodies (calamari) – already cleaned
  • 1 pound shrimp – cleaned, deveined- cut in halves

 

For the Dressing:

  • Juice 2 to 3 lemons, or more to taste
  • 5 ounces pimento martini olives-rinsed, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley – finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves – thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 3  stalks of celery – sliced
  • a pinch (up to 1/8 tsp.) of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ground black pepper to taste

 

Directions To Make Seafood Salad Marinated:

1.  First, in a shallow bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients.  Mix well and set aside.

2.  Next, rinse the squid thoroughly in cold water.  Remove and discard any plastic-like spine bone from the inside.  Cut the bodies into 1/4 to 1/2 inch rings.  Drain and set aside.

hand holding a calamari ring by 2sistersrecipes.com
 
 

3.  In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to boil.  Add some salt to the water.  Add the shrimp and boil until they turn pink about 1 to 2 minutes.  Shrimp cook up quickly.

4.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and transfer to a colander.  Drain well and allow to cool.  Cut each shrimp in half and transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.

 

5.  Meantime, using the same pot with salted boiling water, add the squid rings to the boiling water and boil until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.   You must try one to tell if they are fully cooked and ready or not.  The squid should be tender to the bite, not chewy.  Remove and drain well.

6.  Transfer the cooked squid into the bowl with the shrimp, add the lemon vinaigrette dressing and toss together until well combined.   Taste and season with some fresh cracked pepper, to taste.

7.  Cover and allow it to marinate overnight in the refrigerator, turning the mixture occasionally. Seafood salad will stay freshly refrigerated for up to 3 days.

8.  Before serving, allow the salad to come to room temperature.  Transfer the seafood salad to a large serving platter and serve.  You may squeeze additional fresh lemon juice over the salad before serving to give it additional flavor.

Serves 6 to 8

 
Seafood Salad - Marinated for Christmas Eve! by 2sistersrecipes.com

For more delicious seafood recipes, try these:

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Seafood Salad Marinated for Christmas Eve!

Seafood Salad Marinated for Christmas by 2sistersrecipes.com

Seafood Salad, marinated days before prior to being served, has been our holiday tradition as the first course served on Christmas Eve for as long as we can remember. Made with 2 kinds of seafood makes this dish even easier, yet still amazingly delicious!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 pounds small squid bodies (calamari) - already cleaned
  • 1 pound shrimp- cleaned, deveined- cut in halves

Dressing:

  • Juice 2 to 3 lemons, or more to taste
  • 5 ounces pimento martini olives-rinsed, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley- chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves - thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 stalks of celery - sliced
  • One pinch (or more) of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a shallow bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Next, rinse the squid thoroughly in cold water. Remove and discard any plastic-like spine bone from the inside. Cut the bodies into 1/4 to 1/2 inch rings. Drain in a colander and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to boil. Add some salt to the water.
  4. Add the shrimp and boil until they turn pink about 2 to 3 minutes. Shrimp cooks up quickly.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and transfer them to a colander to drain. Keep in a colander and allow cooling.
  6. Cut each shrimp in half and transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  7. Meantime, using the same pot with salted boiling water, add the squid rings to the boiling water and boils until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Try one ring, and see if they are cooked enough. The squid should be tender to the bite, not chewy.
  8. Remove and drain well.
  9. Transfer the cooked squid into the bowl with the shrimp, add the lemon vinaigrette dressing and toss together until well combined. Add some fresh cracked pepper to taste.
  10. Cover and allow it to marinate overnight in the refrigerator, turning the mixture occasionally. Seafood salad will stay freshly refrigerated for up to 3 days.
  11. Before serving, allow the salad to come to room temperature. You may squeeze additional fresh lemon juice over the salad before serving.
  12. Transfer the seafood salad to a large serving platter and serve.
  13. Serves 6 to 8

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6 to 8 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 299Total Fat: 15.3gCarbohydrates: 5.5gFiber: .2gSugar: .2gProtein: 30.9g
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 serving
Servings: 8
Amount per serving 
Calories299
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15.3g20%
Saturated Fat 2.6g13%
Cholesterol 384mg128%
Sodium 198mg9%
Total Carbohydrate 5.5g2%
Dietary Fiber 0.2g1%
Total Sugars 0.2g 
Protein 30.9g 
Vitamin D 0mcg0%
Calcium 97mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
Potassium 430mg9%

Are you cooking with us?  If you make this delicious seafood salad marinated for Christmas, let us know and leave a comment with a star rating below!  Snap a photo and hashtag it on Instagram, and on Pinterest; be sure to tag us @2sistersrecipes. 

We’d love to see what you cook!

Happy and Healthy Cooking!  🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

xo anna and liz

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20 Comments

    1. One More! Thank you for the best and easiest seafood recipe. I've tried many, but this is the one I'll use from now on. After serving it, I have requests for the recipe. I added small scallops also. Soooo good.

    2. Hi Anonymous! So glad to hear you made our seafood salad! Adding in more fish is always a bonus,and makes it even more tastier! Thank you for letting us know and leaving a comment! Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!
      Xoxo Anna and Liz

  1. Having an allergy to any and all shellfish (but not to fresh fish not inside of a shell), I will never be able to enjoy this Italian tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. My family is from the Northern mountains of Italy and were so poor that they had never even heard of this tradition (obviously in the mountains, seafood was not standard fare), therefore this tradition was never included in our family recipes for Christmas from Italy to our family's presence in the States. We always included "cucina povera" (the food of the poor), of which my family suffered from in the cold northern mountains — primarily tortellini in brodo, polenta, risotto, contucci (commonly known today as biscotti) . . . despite these now being such popular and trendy (and often expensive) food items of today. But alas, with my allergy that developed 31 years ago during my second pregnancy, I'll never be able to enjoy this fabulous traditional Italian feast! But I wish all of you complete, and total enjoyment of this delicious feast!
    Baci,
    Roz

    1. I know how you feel since my oldest daughter has the same shellfish allergy like you. Every Christmas Eve we make her a small filet mignon and some pasta with simple marinara sauce. This way she feels she is getting a special holiday dinner like the rest of us. Also thank you for telling us about your traditions from the North. We love hearing about other holiday traditions from other regions in Italy. So interesting! Thanks again xo

  2. WOW. If your mom made food like this I can only imagine all the wonderful dishes that you must have grown up with, for holidays and ordinary days! This salad looks incredible. Your photographs are top-notch, and along with this recipe helps make for an epic post. Very nicely done. I wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season, it's been so nice to discover your work, I look forward to more of the same for the new year!!

    1. Dan, you are so sweet! And, yes our mom made the most amazing dishes ever! She learned her culinary skills from a Chef in a famous Hotel called Punta Tragara, in Capri, Italy, which still exits. As of today, it is one of the top hotels in Italy. She was a newlywed and didn't know how to cook, so she went everyday into the kitchen of the hotel to watch the chefs cook. And, that's how she learned how to cook. We love your tutorials as well as your recipes. Have a great holiday!!

    1. Thanks, Joanne. Growing up- we had no choice. But today, as we try to maintain the traditions as much as possible, there's always one person who doesn't eat seafood (my middle child) so for her, we'll grill some meat so she doesn't' absolutely starve on the Eve. Have a great day!

  3. This all looks so good I can't stop thinking about it. I may not.be able to make it this Christmas but I will make.it very soon. THANKS
    .

  4. If I ate seafood, I'd love to do the Feast of Seven Fishes. It sounds so lovely, and I really adore traditions like it.
    Your seafood salad sounds like a perfect addition to the meal. Hope both of you have a very Merry Christmas