Chef Recipes

Seafood Salad: How to Make It Perfect? Gennaro Esposito's 2 Michelin Star Recipe

Alessandra Meldolesi
copertina insalata di mare esposito

The holidays are a time for seafood: Gennaro Esposito suggests a special recipe for seafood salad, where each element is showcased for its individuality, without overpowering dressings, with exquisite sensitivity

The dish

Gennaro Esposito, chef of Torre del Saracino, discovered seafood salad early in his career. A dish that, during his apprenticeship, was often diminished by mass preparation and overpowering seasoning. His version is different, perfectly balanced in cooking and the natural play of flavors.

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"My seafood salad is a festive dish, demanding in its preparation. Ideal for Christmas Eve dinner, New Year's Eve, or any special occasion. The key is to apply a different treatment to each element, enhancing its flavor and texture. Starting with the octopus: using its less noble parts, like the head, we create a broth following tradition and from this, a jelly. We use it to wrap the other ingredients. We cut the central part of the tentacles into thick slices and cook them for 3 minutes, preferably in the broth itself, as if it were Kobe beef. Because this cephalopod can be boiled for two hours or just briefly, depending on the desired consistency.

torre del saracino

But we aim for crispiness. Then there's the cuttlefish, cooked at low temperature sous-vide with fennel and oil, sliced thin; mussels stuffed with potato and parsley pesto for enhanced palatability and to mitigate the iodine flavor; clams just opened; oyster grilled and in cream at the base of the plate; parsley sponge and sea urchins. Optionally, you can add shellfish and a spoonful of sea urchin, depending on availability. For those who love the sea, it's an extraordinary taste."

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"On the plate, it comes with two sauces, one parsley-based, the other pistachio-based, parsley and cuttlefish ink powders, and a bunch of mixed greens wrapped in a bundle of white turnip. No lemon, as the freshness of each ingredient is satisfying, and citrus could homogenize the bites. Also, it shouldn't be served cold like other seafood or meat salads, but with the different ingredients at room temperature. The pairing isn't difficult: sparkling wine works well, like a fragrant Fiano or Greco, aromatic and appropriately acidic."

Seafood salad by Gennaro Esposito

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Ingredients for 4 people 

For the seafood 

• 12 hard-shell clams

• 4 razor clams

• 8 sea truffles

• 4 bean clams

• 4 prawns

• 8 slices octopus tentacles

• 80 g cuttlefish julienne

• Mixed greens

• Extra virgin olive oil

• A garlic clove


Open the seafood separately in a pan with garlic-infused oil. Cool and shell.

For the pistachio cream

• 100 g Bronte pistachios


Emulsify pistachios with half of the water. Sieve and adjust the flavor.

For the oyster emulsion

• 4 oysters


Emulsify oysters with their water and extra virgin olive oil.

For the octopus broth

• 400 g octopus

• 50 g celery

• 50 g carrots

• 50 g spring onion

• 4 cherry tomatoes

• Bay leaves

• Parsley stems

• Lemon peel

• Peppercorn


Boil all vegetables with water for about twenty minutes; then add octopus and cook slowly for about an hour. After cooking, strain the broth and set aside the octopus.

For the octopus veil 

Boil 200 g octopus broth with 8 g rice starch. Strain and cool in a tray. Cut with a round cutter about 22cm in diameter.

For the sea urchin biscuit 

• 100 g sea urchins

• 70 g all-purpose flour

• 20 g egg white


Emulsify all ingredients with a blender. Place the mixture in a siphon and cook in the microwave for two minutes. Shape and let it dry.

Dish composition 

In a dedicated plate, place the oyster emulsion inside the veil, along with seafood, cuttlefish, prawns, and the sea urchin biscuit. Complete the plate with slices of octopus tentacles. Close the veil and arrange the other elements harmoniously.

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Torre del Saracino

Via Torretta, 9, 80069 Vico Equense NA

Tel: +39 081 8028555


WhatsApp: +39 388 7377794

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