Marinated Seafood Appetizer

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 people


  • 2 lemons
  • 1 ½ pounds small shrimp
  • 1 pound baby octopus or squid
  • 3 pounds mussels or clams
  • 1 pound sea scallops preferably “dry” (zero or minimal preservatives)
  • Bay leaves
  • Black peppercorns
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup white wine or dry vermouth
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground white or black pepper
  • 1 or 2 celery stalks thinly sliced
  • Microgreens


  1. Prep lemons: Zest one of the lemons. Halve lemons and squeeze juice. Reserve zest, lemon shells and juice.
  2. Prepare seafood: Peel shrimp. Split baby octopus if large. Rinse mussels and pull off any “beards.” Halve or quarter scallops as needed for similar size as other seafood.
  3. Cook octopus: Fill a medium saucepan with enough water to cover octopus. Add 2 bay leaves, 2 lemon shells and a few peppercorns. Bring to a simmer. Add octopus and simmer, partly covered, until tender, about 20 minutes. Cool in cooking liquid (can be refrigerated). Drain.
  4. Cook mussels: In a large skillet, saute garlic over medium heat in 2 tablespoons olive oil until golden. Add white wine. Stir and add mussels. Cover and cook until mussels open (discard any that do not). Cool slightly in skillet.
  5. Transfer mussels to a large bowl, leaving liquid in pan. When cool, pick mussels and place in another bowl. Discard shells.
  6. Cook shrimp and scallops:. Add 2 cups water, 2 bay leaves, the remaining 2 lemon shells and a few peppercorns to mussel liquid. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until they start to turn opaque. Add scallops and simmer a minute or two longer. With a slotted spoon, transfer seafood to a bowl and cool. Discard cooking liquid.
  7. Make dressing: Combine ½ cup olive oil with ¼ cup lemon juice and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Combine seafood: In a large bowl, combine shrimp, scallops, octopus and mussels. With a spatula, gently stir in dressing. Chill thoroughly for at least 4 hours and preferably longer (24 hours is ideal).
  9. To serve: Fold celery into seafood. Using a slotted spoon, scoop seafood into coupe champagne glasses or glass dessert bowls. Garnish with microgreens.