Grilled Squid Salad with Lemon, Capers, and Parsley

August 26, 2011

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

Serves: 4


  • 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
In This Recipe


  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!

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