Scungilli salad, made with fresh lemon juice, celery, red onion, garlic, and parsley, is a simple yet delicious Italian dish that’s easy to prepare. If you like seafood, feel free to try this one.
What is Scungilli?
The word “Scungilli” from the Italian word “conchiglia” is basically a seashell or spiral. Scungilli sold in the United States is usually wild-caught or complex spirals harvested in the northeastern coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean, including New England and Long Island. But it’s hard to find fresh.
This oceanic marine snail with a large spiral-shell is popular in Southern Italian and Italian-American cuisine. But oysters are also common in places like the UK and the Caribbean as well.
Scungilli is great and is used in this recipe for a salad with lemon and olive oil dressing and mixed with other Italian seafood salads, but it also tastes delicious stir-fried in Italian red-style sauces like marinara or spicy “fra d’Avolo,” which are served with pasta.
It is high in protein, low in fat and low in carbohydrates. It is also a good source of vitamins such as vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin E and minerals such as potassium and iron.
About the recipe: Scungilli Salad
Scungilli salad is a traditional dish traditionally served in southern Italian and American homes for the seafood-centric Christmas Eve holiday meal known as the “Feast of the Seven Fishes” (Festa Dei Sette Pesci).
But with fresh ingredients like celery, red onions, green olives, parsley, and olive oil, this Scungilli salad also makes perfect seafood to enjoy during the warm summer months. And seafood lovers who don’t give it a chance are missing out on something delicious.
The thing about scungilli is that it’s hard to find fresh. But fortunately today, you’ll likely find this edible mollusk cooked, sliced, and ready in the can at well-stocked fish markets, Italian markets, or international grocers. This is what we will use in this recipe.
We have included links at the bottom where you can buy them online.
What does Scungilli taste like?
Scungilli has a texture similar to perfectly cooked calamari. And if you love oysters, you’ll probably love scungilli, too. It is soft and firm, with a light, slightly glossy and sweet flavor. There is no fishy aftertaste, so you don’t have to worry about that.
Single salad ingredients
Scongilli (canid): Cooked and sliced scungilli is very tasty and makes cooking with it very easy. They are usually found in the same section as canned seafood such as oysters in 6-ounce or 29-ounce cans. 29 ounces can make about 4-6 servings of this salad.
Some well stocked grocery and fish stores and Italian or international markets provide them. You can find them in the same section as other canned seafood such as oysters.
To save you shopping time, here are places you can order scungilli online:
celery: I prefer using the leafy stalks near the center of the celery head.
The leaves add a touch of freshness and the stems are even softer. Use 1 or 3 small inner leafy stalks.
red onion: The sweet and pungent flavor of red onions works well with other ingredients. All you need is about a small red onion.
green olive: Go for green olives with a salty finish. Sicilian-style green olives work great, but I often use manzanilla-style bell pepper-stuffed olives as well.
capers: Capers, add a delicious savory bite to this salad.
parsley: With herbal flavor and delicious complements to seafood of any kind, this salad requires only the freshest stuff.
lemon: Fresh lemon juice forms the base of the dressing on this salad. Have more on hand in the absence of lemonade. 2-3 usually does the trick.
Extra virgin olive oil: Use the best possible quality.
garlic: Garlic is great with fresh lemon and parsley in this dish. Go with 2 cloves, finely chopped to start. You can always add more if you like.
Crushed red pepper: It adds a touch of heat, but you can skip it if you don’t like spicy things.
pepper + salt
1 Preparation: Rinse all vegetables (celery + onion + parsley).
2 Rinse and drain: Strain all of the canned liquid using a strainer or strainer. Then rinse with cold water. Drain again and set aside.
3 slice: For this salad, I prefer chopping celery and onions into thin slices. Makes the bite more delicate. If your olives are large, cut them in half.
4 ingredients toss together: Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl, mix, then taste the seasoning. I usually add a touch of lemon or salt. Refrigerate for up to an hour or overnight.
5 feet: Serve it alone or on top of a light green coating. The peppery bite of arugula pairs beautifully, but mixed greens also work well.
What is the shelf life of a Scungilli salad?
It is best to enjoy your scungilli salad within 3 days for optimal freshness.
We love it so much, and honestly, leftovers never last long enough to sit in the fridge.
Scungilli salad tips
Make it ahead of time: You can prepare this salad a day in advance allowing it to soak in lemon juice. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Add some enthusiasm: For more lemon flavor, use the peel of one lemon and add it to your salad.
Get the recipe!
The best Scungilli salad recipe
This fresh, lemony salad is traditionally served to celebrate Italian Christmas Eve “Feast of the Seven Fishes,” but it also makes a great summer salad. Serve with appetizers, baked clams, and a cup of pinot grigio for the perfect light dinner. (low carb, high protein, keto friendly, gluten free)
- 1 – 29 oz Can Scungilli, washed and drained
- 3 Inner celery stalks, sliced (or use 2 large ones)
- 1/4 cup Thinly sliced red onion
- 1/4 Fresh chopped parsley
- 1/3 cup green olive
- 2-3 Lemonade
- 1-2 clove minced garlic
- 2 Tablespoon capers
- 1/2 Teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon salt
- 2 TBS Extra virgin olive oil
Add all salad ingredients (except olive oil) into a medium-sized mixing bowl and toss together.
Add olive oil and stir again until combined.
Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, or pepper if needed.
Serve and enjoy!