Every cook has dishes that she orders when in a restaurant but never makes at home. Let's call these barrier recipes. In the spirit of trying to get past my barrier recipes -- which usually involve shellfish or a grill -- I've recreated the squid salad that I order every time we go to Motorino. I grilled the squid to give it a little char and then tumbled it together with whole parsley leaves, slices of boiled potato, some capers, red pepper flakes, and a dousing of lemon. It took 10 minutes. And I felt pretty dumb for not tackling this sooner. Watch out clams: I'm coming after you next! —Amanda Hesser
squid, rinsed and dried
olive oil, plus more if needed
baby white potatoes (or any small variety), boiled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
Heat the grill to medium-high -- if you have a fine grate or vegetable or shellfish basket for the grill this is the moment to use it. While the grill heats, toss together the squid with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and prep the rest of your ingredients.
Grill the squid, spreading out the heads and bodies on the grill. The bodies will steam and fill with liquid; I lift the pieces with tongs and pour this into the fire as they grill, so they char and don't steam. The squid should take 2 to 3 minutes to char and cook through. Remove to a plate.
Cut the squid bodies into 1/2-inch thick rings. In a large bowl, toss the warm squid rings and heads with the potatoes, onion, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, capers, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Let sit for 10 minutes. Taste again, and adjust lemon, salt, and pepper. Serve!
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.