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Italian, Sicily
Shellfish Salad with Oranges and Fennel Recipe-3235

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Insalata di Frutti di Mare, Arancie e Finocchio

Orange paired with anise-scented fennel is a traditional Sicilian flavor marriage. This recipe takes the combination one step further with the addition of shellfish. Contemporary chefs like to serve the shellfish warm, in contrast to the cool orange and fennel salad. If time permits, you may want to warm the seafood briefly. Here, instead of using red pepper flakes, I add the subtler heat of black pepper to the vinaigrette. If you like, you can use red pepper flakes for some of the black pepper. Thinly sliced celery is a nice alternative if your market does not have fennel.

Yield: Serves 8


For the vinaigrette

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground coarse black pepper
  • Salt

For the salad

  • 3 navel oranges
  • 2 or 3 fennel bulbs, cored, trimmed, and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 cups dry white wine or equal parts wine and water
  • 18 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 18 sea scallops foot muscle removed
  • 12 small squid, cleaned, bodies cut into narrow rings, and tentacles left whole
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or fennel leaves for garnish


To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and the citrus juices. Whisk in the pepper and the salt to taste, Set aside.

Working with 1 orange at a time, cut a thin slice off the top and bottom to reveal the flesh, Stand the orange upright and remove the peel in wide strips, cutting downward and following the contour of the fruit. Holding the orange over a bowl, cut along both sides of each segment, releasing the segments from the membrane and allowing them to drop into the bowl. Using the knife tip, pry out any seeds from the segments. Squeeze the membrane over the bowl to collect extra juice that you can add to the vinaigrette at serving time.

Place the fennel in a bowl, add half of the vinaigrette, and toss to coat evenly. Divide the fennel evenly among 8 salad plates, forming a bed on each one, or arrange the fennel in a bed on a large platter.

In a saucepan, bring the wine to a simmer over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook gently until they turn pink and are cooked through, about 4 minutes. Do not overcook or they will be tough. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a bowl. Add the scallops to the pan and simmer gently until just opaque throughout, about 2 minutes. Transfer with the slotted spoon to the bowl holding the shrimp. Add the squid to the pan and cook until they turn opaque, about 1 minute. Scoop out with the slotted spoon and add to the shrimp and scallops. Drizzle about one-third of the remaining vinaigrette over the seafood and toss to coat everly.

Using the slotted spoon, remove the orange segments from the bowl and distribute evenly over the fennel. Then distribute the warm seafood evenly over the fennel. Add the orange juice from the bowl to taste to the remaining vinaigrette and drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. Top with the parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.


WINE: Sicilian white wines have sufficient body and texture to balance the flavors of fennel and citrus beautifully. Stay away from Chardonnay and try the local blends from producers Juch as Donnafugata, Mirabile, Planeta, and Spadafora.

© 2006 Joyce Goldstein

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.

456kcal (23%)
110mg (11%)
53mg (88%)
37mcg RAE (1%)
329mg (110%)
453mg (19%)
4g (21%)
29g (45%)
2mg (11%)

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