I’ve known for years that my friend Giada De Laurentiis is a uniquely gifted cook, so I wasn’t surprised when millions of others also responded to her talent. As host of the Food Network’s hit show Everyday Italian, she creates dishes that are healthy, easy to make and delicious–the ideal food trifecta. Here is a recipe from her private stash. -Laird
Growing up I spent a lot of time off the island of Capri, off the coast of Naples. Capri is known for its seafood; in particular its array of fresh fish. I’ve had many grilled seafood salads there, and this is one of my favorites. People tend to think of salads as boring, but they’re fantastic if you mix different textures: crunchy red peppers, creamy cannellini beans, chewy calamari, silky sea scallops.
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh marjoram
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon salt + more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper + more to taste
12 ounces of sea scallops
12 ounces cleaned squid, bodies only
1 can (15 ounces) white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 ounces arugula leaves (about 6 cups)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips, about 2 inches long
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips about 2 inches long
1 large head radicchio, leaves separated
In a small, heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, parsley, marjoram and thyme and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature. Whisk in the lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and black pepper. Set aside.
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for medium-high heat, or preheat a ridged grill pan over medium-high heat. Pat the scallops and squid dry with paper towels, brush them with 2 tablespoons of the reserved dressing, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and black pepper. Thread the scallops onto skewers and grill with teh squid for about 2 minutes per side, or until just cooked through, turning once. Cool completely. Remove the scallops from the skewers and cut the squid crosswise into 1/4 inch wide rings.
In a large bowl, combine the beans, arugula, carrots, and bell pepper. Toss with enough of the reserved dressing to coat. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
Place 1 large or 2 medium radicchio leaves on each of the 4 plates. Spoon the bean salad into the radiccio cups and top with the scallops and squid. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve.
Makes 4 servings
A few notes about this recipe:
* You can substitute any herbs you’d like in the dressing, but note that I don’t use balsamic vinegar. It would break down the texture of the calamari and the scallops.
* Be careful, it’s easy to overcook scallops.
* I think people are afraid of calamari (squid) sometimes, but at a good seafood store you can buy them already cleaned. All you have to do is slice them.