Grilled Squid Salad with Lemon, Capers, and Parsley

August 26, 2011
5 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 pound squid, rinsed and dried
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 6 baby white potatoes (or any small variety), boiled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup flatleaf parsley leaves
  • Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and coarsely chopped
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • tota
  • blanka.n
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  • Amanda Hesser
    Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser

Recipe by: Amanda Hesser

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.

22 Reviews

tota June 30, 2014
Amanda this is a great recipe, so simple and so healthy--can't tell you how many people I have shared this with after making it. Thank you so much!!!
tota June 30, 2014
I added fresh corn straight from the cob to this last night, and it was delicious! Also have used the white gigante beans in lieu of potatoes, both work well. A great recipe!!
lisa June 30, 2014
Love the corn idea! thanks.
Amanda H. June 30, 2014
Yes, great one. Thanks, tota.
lisa May 30, 2014
Amanda, you know I adore it the way it is. But do you think white beans might be an interesting substitute for the potatoes?
Amanda H. May 30, 2014
yes absolutely!
lisa May 30, 2014
Thanks, Amanda!
lisa April 27, 2014
This is so delicious, Amanda! I grilled the calamari (I mean, squid!) a little longer to get it charred. And it came out perfectly. Love everything you put in this recipe.
Amanda H. April 27, 2014
Lisa, thanks so much for your message!
starface80 June 19, 2013
just made this over the weekend for a friend's birthday party - a huge hit! i have never thought to chop capers before. so smart! we used a high quality olive oil, which i think made a difference as well. our local harris teeter had frozen and cleaned squid by the pound. all very easy and delicious. a wonderful recipe.
Amanda H. June 19, 2013
Thrilled to hear this -- also glad to be reminded of this. I haven't made it in a while; time to revisit!
lacerise May 1, 2013
On a trip to NY in April, after flying a red-eye from CA and trekking down to Chinatown for dim sum at 11 am, we were unable to even consider going out to dinner. Instead, we ordered pizzas and salad delivered to our hotel from Motorino. We had this salad, except with octopus instead of squid, and it was so good. I try to avoid grilling, but hope that everyone who doesn't share my hang-up will try this salad. It's terrific.
Amanda H. May 1, 2013
So glad to hear this -- thanks for sharing your thoughts!
cancook July 19, 2012
I had a little trouble grilling on my infrared grill so quickly threw the squid in a grill pan on my stove - perfect! Also added some thinly sliced fennel and halved cherry tomatoes fresh from the Farmer's Market. Colorful, flavorful and the perfect antidote to a hot Chicago summer night!
blanka.n November 3, 2011
This is a perfect starter. Definitely for my next dinner party!
melissav September 7, 2011
Amanda - I made this for dinner last night and it rocked! I cook seafood all the time but for some strange reason, never squid or octupus. Thank you for inspiring me to jump over the hurdle I had constructed in my mind. It was so easy and quick and amazingly tender.
Amanda H. September 7, 2011
Cool! Glad we're both over the hurdle!
tota August 31, 2011
this was incredibly yummy and very easy...a winner in my house and we'll definitely be doing it again. (I did double the red pepper flakes, we like spicy)
Amanda H. August 31, 2011
Glad to hear it!
tota August 30, 2011
Am definitely headed to fish market today for some squid, this sounds perfect!
Kim F. August 26, 2011
This sounds like it might be hurricane food this weekend. Perfect.
annielicious14 August 26, 2011
Way to break down the barrier! nice.......