Fennel-Crisp Calamari Salad

By • March 24, 2013 4 Comments

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Author Notes: We love fried calamari as an appetizer, but why not make it dinner? I added a little ground fennel to the breading and served it over a lemony fennel salad for a wonderful supper.inpatskitchen


Serves 2 for dinner

Prep the salad first

  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, cleaned and cored (save the fronds)
  • 2 thin slices red onion
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Cut the fennel bulbs in half and then slice them thinly (I use a mandoline for this). Cut the 2 slices of red onion into pieces about an inch or two long. Place in a mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper together, add it to the fennel and onion and toss everything thoroughly. Refrigerate while you make the calamari.

For the calamari and putting it all together

  • 3/4 pound cleaned squid tubes and tentacles (or just tubes if you like)
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup white rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground fennel seed
  • Enough vegetable or peanut oil to fill a frying pan about 1 inch
  • 1 lemon
  • The previously made fennel salad
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • A few grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Lemon wedges for garnish
  • A few fennel fronds for garnish
  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan until it reaches between 350 and 360 degrees. Cut the squid tubes crosswise into 1/3 to 1/2 inch rings.
  2. Whisk the 2 flours, salt, pepper and ground fennel together and place into a plastic or small paper bag. Add the squid and shake, shake, shake until well coated. Pour the mixture into a colander and shake over the sink to rid yourself of the excess coating.
  3. Now fry the squid, in batches if necessary (don't over crowd the pieces) for 3 to 4 minutes until they lightly brown. As they finish use a slotted spoon or spider to remove and place on paper toweling. Keep the first batch warm in a 300F oven while you do the next batch.
  4. Once the squid is done, divide the fennel salad and place on 2 dinner plates. Take the squid out of the oven and sprinkle it with the juice of the lemon. Place half of the squid over each salad.
  5. Sprinkle the capers and a few fennel fronds over each salad and garnish with the tomatoes and lemon wedges. Eat and enjoy!

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