I’m a sucker for cold seafood dishes. Ceviche, tiraditos, tartare, sushi, seafood salad (withOUT mayo), whitefish, lox, herring. They all make my mouth water and my heart skip a beat in hungry anticipation. Some day I’ll live in a wood shack on a beach somewhere and go into the bay every morning to dig my own clams and pick sea urchins off the floor of tidepools. But that’s neither here nor there.

It’s hard to find a reasonably decent deli in London and during my five capicola-less months there in the spring I was on a constant quest for what I consider the pinnacle of lunchtime takeout eating: the Italian deli. When I did (and it turned out to be two blocks from the building I lived in) I managed to make it through two frequent buyer cards in the last month of my stay. The highlight, without a doubt, was the seafood salad sandwich. Circles of octopus, rings of calamari, little curled squid, all in lemon vinaigrette with parsley and celery. Truly ethereal on an Italian wedge or huge hunk of ciabatta.

I haven’t tried my hand at duplicating it yet, maybe in reverence, but I’m sure I will someday. Until then, enjoy the photo and if you feel like trying one of these recipes please report back and suggest any modifications.

Food Network’s Venetian Seafood Salad

Chef Wanabe’s Seafood Salad (with beautiful food porn photography)

Italian Food Forever’s Antipasti di Mare