Michael Romano
Executive Chef Union Square Cafe
Co-author The Union Square Cafe Cookbook, New York, N.Y.

My maternal grandmother was from a small town not farm from Naples. She brought with her the tradition of fish-only Christmas Eve dinners. This recipe is derived from my memories of the many wonderful and exciting meals my grandma Emilia would lovingly prepare.


Warm Seafood and White Bean Salad

serves 4

  • 4 cups frisee, cored, cleaned, dried and torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 12 small mussels, beards removed and scrubbed
  • 1/2 pound calamari, cleaned and sliced into
  • 1/4-inch rings
  • 8 medium shrimp (1/4 pound), shelled, deveined and butterflied
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini or Great Northern beans
  • 1/4 cup bean cooking liquid
  • 1 tablespoon each minced tarragon, chives,
  • parsley and chervil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1. Arrange the frisee on a serving platter or in a large salad bowl. Set aside.

2. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil and the garlic in a 10-inch skillet over moderate heat for 1 minute. Do not brown the garlic. Add the mussels and cook until they open, 3-4 minutes.

3. Add the sliced calamari and shrimp. Cook over high heat, stirring, until the seafood is firm but not tough, about 2 minutes. Add the cooked beans and the bean cooking liquid. Bring to a boil, stir in the herbs and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

4. Spoon the warm seafood and beans atop the frisee. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION

To be as energetic and consistent in letting people know they've done something excellent as I am in correcting their mistakes.


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