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Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Amalfi’ Seafood Salad

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

 

From Positano to Salerno the Amalfi Coast of Italy offers some of the most divine scenery imaginable. Along this windy coastline, steep rocky slopes rush down to the sea, and tiny villages with colorful houses packed closely together cling to the rugged cliffs. In the heartland of Campania, both farm life and cooking are a testimony to the fertility of the land. Over two thousand years ago the Romans had already planted pears, apples, and cherry trees; almond, figs melons, pomegranates, quince, chestnuts; and vegetables of all kinds, not to mention spelt, millet, barley, wheat, and olive trees. Grapes already thrived on the sun-kissed volcanic soil at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. Over the centuries, more of the region’s staples were developed; water buffalos, the revered source of buffalo’s milk mozzarella, were raised; juicy ripe tomatoes arrived from the New World, and the art of pasta-making expanded with Naples becoming one of the major producers by the 18th Century. As the summer approaches this dish offer a refreshing variable as an appetizer or light lunch.

Serves 4

Ingredients

16 mussels scrubbed, beard removed

16 clams

Salt

¼ pound octopus, cut into 1 inch pieces

¼ pound squid, bodies cut into rings, tentacles halved

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves minced

16 shrimp, shelled and deveined

Juice of 1 lemon

Freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon minced Italian parsley

Directions

Soak the mussels and clams in cool water to cover with 1 tablespoon of salt for 30 minutes; drain and rinse. Bring 1 quart of water to boil. Drop in the octopus; cook 20 minutes; add the squid; cook 10 minutes more. Drain and cool. Transfer to a salad bowl. In a 12 inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic, mussels, clams, and shrimp; cook 10 minutes over low heat until the shellfish opens. While this happens you may want to remove the shrimp as they cook much quicker. Add the mixture to the octopus and squid in the bowl. Toss with the lemon juice, the remaining olive oil, salt and pepper, and serve garnished with parsley. 

Master Chef Walter Potenza is the owner of Potenza Ristorante in Cranston, Chef Walters Cooking School and Chef Walters Fine Foods. His fields of expertise include Italian Regional Cooking, Historical Cooking from the Roman Empire to the Unification of Italy, Sephardic Jewish Italian Cooking, Terracotta Cooking, Diabetes and Celiac. Recipient of National and International accolades, awarded by the Italian Government as Ambassador of Italian Gastronomy in the World. Currently on ABC6 with Cooking Show “Eat Well."  Check out the Chef's website and blog.
 

 

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