Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Insalata Di Scungilli

This salad is such a classic! 
     Scungilli translates to conch or sea snail.  I cooked a lot of Bahama Conch Chowder and Conch Fritters when I worked in the tropics.  This conch salad has been on every menu of each Italian restaurant I have worked for.  The ingredients were the same every time.  If you have never had conch before, the flavor is just a little stronger than fresh clams.  Very slow simmering or quick blanching is the only way to cook conk tender.  This recipe does not require tenderizing conch with a mallet like for a fritter recipe.  Cooked frozen fresh conch or canned conch are acceptable for this recipe.  Believe it or not, the Italian chefs I worked for preferred the canned conch imported from Italy.  I have to admit, conch does can well.  A quality canned unseasoned conch imported from Italy is superb for this recipe.
     Recipe:  Place a few romaine leaves on a plate. 
     Pile some chopped romaine lettuce on the stalk end of the romaine leaves. 
     Place some sliced plum tomato on the plate next to the romaine. 
     Place a few lemon wedges on the plate. 
     Place about 4-5 ounces of Imported Italian canned scungilli that is packed in its own juices into a mixing bowl. 
     Add a splash of the conch juices from the can.
     Add a small handful of chopped celery.
     Add a little bit of chopped onion.
     Add a minced garlic garlic clove. 
     Add a small handful of diced red and green bell pepper. 
     Add a few pinches of chopped Italian flat leaf parsley. 
     Add a splash of virgin olive oil.  Add enough olive oil to coat the ingredients.
     Add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. 
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add a pinch of oregano. 
     Toss the conch salad together and place it on top of the chopped romaine on the plate. 
     Garnish the salad with a sprig of Italian parsley.
     Delicious!  Lemon and virgin olive oil accent the conch flavors in a gentle way.  The crunch of the celery, onion and peppers adds to the appeal of this salad.  This salad is light, healthy and uncomplicated.  The flavor and quality of the canned imported conch is superb.  The flavor is like a strong ocean flavored clam.  Yum!  Ciao Baby!  ... Shawna

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