Insalata di Pesce con Purée di Pepperoni Rossi
3 red bell peppers
- 1 onion, divided
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 2 carrot sticks, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces lengthwise
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns
- 8 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
- 2 celery ribs
- 8 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
- 8 chunks each fresh swordfish and salmon
- 8 medium-size scallops, halved horizontally and outer membrane removed
- 12 calamari rings
- 8 medium-size shrimp deveined, shells and tails removed
- 8 medium-size mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- ¼ cup minced cilantro, ½ cup tomato juice
- Belgian endive, for garnish
- 2 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
- 1 medium cucumber, halved, seeded, and chopped
- Salt and pepper
Roast the red bell peppers over a gas flame or under the broiler, as close to the heat as possible, turning often, until charred all over.
Transfer the peppers to a paper bag, close loosely, and steam for 10 minutes.
Working over a strainer set over a bowl, scrape off the charred skins; do not worry if a little stays on the flesh. Remove the stems, cores, and seeds.
Do not rinse the bell pepper under water, because that will wash away the flavor.
Cut the pepper into thin lengthwise strips then cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces. The peppers will release some liquid, so have a bowl ready to catch the juices. You may want to use the juices in the dressing for extra bell-pepper flavor.
Set the peppers and juice aside.
Roast ½ of the onion with peel over a gas flame or under the broiler, as close to the heat as possible, turning often until charred all over. Transfer the onion to a paper bag, close loosely, and steam for 10 minutes.
Peel; do not rinse the onion under running water or you will wash away some flavor. Set aside. In a wide casserole half full of water, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns, 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, the other half peeled onion, celery ribs, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice.
Adjust the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove the vegetables and bay leaves. Add the swordfish, salmon, and scallops and cook for 5 minutes. Add the calamari and shrimp and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the seafood and set aside in a large bowl. Stir the mussels into the simmering water, cover, and cook for 2 minutes, or until the mussels open.
Remove the mussels to the bowl of seafood and cool to room temperature; discard any mussels that do not open.