We're going against convention here with our version of seafood salad by staying far, far away from anything resembling imitation crab. While it is, technically, 'seafood' (I think it's ground up fish? of some sort?) we like to stick with the real deal. Our recipe is, as always, completely tweakable to suit your personal preferences. Adding a larger variety of chopped veggies, increasing favorite types of seafood, removing the things that you might not be a fan of = all good ideas!
Last year we were able to make this salad with our fabulous little Peruvian bay scallops, but this year the scallop farms are out of commission while the world waits for some resolution to the water quality issues in the area of Peru and Chile. For that reason we've switched to an Alaskan weathervane scallop - they increase the cost of the salad a bit, but they are truly fabulous and big enough to quarter to make them stretch. :)
- 1/2 pound Weathervane scallops
- 3/4 pound salad shrimp
- 1/2 pound crab meat (or the meat from one small crab)
- 1/3 pound shrimp or prawns
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/4 small red onion, minced
- splash of olive oil
- 1/2 box (8 oz.) of shell pasta
- salt + pepper
- 1 T minced fresh dill (or half if using dry dill)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 T dijon mustard
In a large pot, boil salted water for the pasta. Cook until tender, then rinse in cold water to chill. Slide the pasta into a large bowl, then add the minced red onion, chopped celery, salad shrimp and crab meat.
In a fry pan, swirl about a tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium-high. Add the scallops and the prawns, season with salt and pepper, then pan sear for about 3-4 minutes or until the scallops have firmed up and lost the translucent quality and the prawns have turned bright orange and are cooked through. Spoon the scallops out of the pan and into the big bowl. Cut each of the prawns into 4-5 chunks and add those to the bowl as well.
Pour any remaining cooking juice/oil from the scallops into a smaller bowl to start the sauce. Add minced dill, minced garlic, lemon juice, dijon and mayonnaise to the bowl and stir to combine.
Pour the sauce over the seafood and pasta in the big bowl and fold the entire mixture to fully combine. Place the dish in your refrigerator to cool completely and stir before serving - the flavors of the sauce and the seafood will deepen and combine with a bit of time, so feel free to make this a day ahead! If it's too dry for you (depending on how your pasta is cooked it might absorb the sauce as it sits) add a little more mayo. Serve over a bed of green lettuce, on a slice of toasted bread, or as a filling inside a hoagie roll if you want to go po' boy style. Sprinkle with bit of Old Bay to finish and enjoy!