Cast Iron

Pan-Roasted Calamari Salad with Tomatoes andĀ Avocado

May  1, 2011
1 Rating
Author Notes

There was a short-lived restaurant on Dune Rd. in Westhampton owned by the Argentinian chef, Frances Mallman, that made a great pan-roasted calamari salad. I can't remember now if the original had cherry tomatoes and avocados or that is something I morphed into it but it was delicious nonetheless. I know the picture is a skate but I couldn't find one of a squid....... - Canned —Canned

Test Kitchen Notes

This is just about the easiest, quickest, most unique salad ever. The flavor of the crisp, well-browned calamari, along with its lemony marinade, and the barely warmed tomatoes and avocado are striking. This would be wonderful to serve for a dinner party because it truly does come together in a matter of minutes. A larger serving would make a lovely summer dinner over just-picked greens. I made it with my students today, most of whom had never tasted calamari. True confessions: Many were simply afraid of it. It was a great delight to us all and they were very surprised to find that they genuinely liked it. Several said they would prepare it at home; I know I will! - boulangere —boulangere

  • Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 for dinner
  • 1 pound cleaned calamari, mostly bodies
  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 chile de arbol, pinched into little pieces
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, minced and divided
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 lemon, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  • 1 bunch arugula, cleaned
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
In This Recipe
  1. Slice the cleaned squid bodies into rings about 1/2 inch thick. Clean the spiders and place prepared squid in a bowl with a lid.
  2. Add olive oil, 1/2 parsely, garlic, chile, lemon juice and zest to the squid and mix. Cover and refrigerate for at lease one hour or more.
  3. Preheat a cast iron pan over high heat until it is almost smoking. Dump cold squid mixture into frying pan and spread out. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, let it sit searing for a good two minutes. Stir a couple of times and let it sit for another two minutes. Stir again. By this time the calamari should be getting crusty. If not stir again and keep cooking. You want to pan-roast the calamari until it is browned but not burned.
  4. When calamari is about done, add the diced avocado, tomatoes and red onion to the skillet. Remove from heat. Place a handful of arugula on each plate and top with calamari. Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon slices.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • boulangere
  • Canned
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    Firecracker Karen
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