Scungilli Salad

     Once in awhile, I'll get a hint from Bryan on what he'd like to see on his dinner plate via an email with simply a recipe link. When scungilli salad landed in my inbox, it looked fairly straightforward and quick to make.  However, my next question was "Where can I find scungilli and heck, what is it?" Google always come to the rescue in moments like these: scungilli, or conch, are very large marine snails (not to be confused with escargot). To my surprise, none of my local gourmet grocers (Central Market and Trader Joe's) had it in stock.  I ended up buying it off of Amazon because I could use my Chase rewards, but you can also find it at Italy Depot for a little cheaper. 

     Once you have the scungilli in hand, the rest of the ingredients can be found at any grocery store, and the recipe itself is incredibly easy.  A warning- if you cannot do '"fishy," the immediate smell of the scungilli right out of a can may be overwhelming.  The good news is it actually tastes pretty neutral and is able to absorb the flavors surrounding it. 

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16 ounces scungilli (canned)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley (not curly!)
8 ounces sliced and pitted black olives (drained)
2 tablespoons of your best olive oil
1 lemon, juice of, and strained
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
red pepper flakes (for some kick)
1 garlic clove, chopped finely

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The scungilli looks like mushrooms and has a similar texture. 

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1. Rinse the canned scungilli well (soak for a couple of seconds and then repeat one more time).
2. Take a medium mixing bowl. Add all the above ingredients; toss until mixed well.
3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld and enjoy!
[recipe via Food.com]

     This is a great salad for the summer.  It's refreshing and has a lot of interesting texture going for it.  The scungilli is meaty, slightly chewy, and buttery and adds a nice balance to the crispness of the other ingredients.  If you're not into scungilli, I can easily see the salad being paired with fish or maybe avocado for a veggie option. I would reduce the red onions to 1/4 cup since they were overpowering at times.  I also doubled the celery to finish off my inventory, and it worked out just fine.  This salad makes a great conversation starter and would be the perfect starter course for a dinner party! If anyone gives it a go, let me know what you think!


Another Chapter

     Lately, there's been a lot of Houzzing, flipping through pages of Atomic Ranch, and browsing of Design Sponge.  Why, you might ask?  Bryan and I just plunked down a nonrefundable deposit on a new home meaning there's no turning back now.  Our house search kicked into high gear last month after finding out our duplex of five years was about to be sold.  We decided it was finally time for us to move from a rental to a house of our own.  Although the contract on the duplex fell through, we continued our search and laid claim to an under-construction townhome in the Heights neighborhood of Houston.  The Heights is known for its adorable bungalows but with the hot real estate market and increasing values in the area, any bungalow meeting our space requirements sadly exceeded our first-time homeowners' budget. 

See, so cute, right?
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Craftsman style bungalow
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Queen Anne style bungalow
     Instead, we opted for an energy efficient townhome by a reputable builder with one thing I've always wanted- a walk-in closet.  Our balconies are not too shabby either, but they'll get their time in the limelight in another post.  As the home gets built, we're able to watch its progress (currently a weekly visit) and make adjustments as necessary.  We also purchased it just in time to make our interior design choices.  We're excited to see the final product but also crossing our fingers it doesn't turn out to be a horrible mess. 

     This blog has evolved in the past years, but I have a strong feeling it will soon be very home centric.  If you're curious to see what I'll be doing with the new house, I'll be adding a "House & Home" link in the menu bar to merge all of my home updates and inspiration.  
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