Baby Calamari Salad

Maree posted 04-29-98 4

Baby Calamari (Squid) Salad

500g- 1kg (1-2lb) fresh baby calamari (whole). Preferably no longer than your middle finger. Don't try this with frozen or the pre-cleaned squid tubes. It'll taste like rubber. The amount depends on appetite and whether this is an entrée/ side/ mains.
fresh chopped parsley
good- great olive oil
fresh lemon juice
washed lettuce.
Salt and Pepper

If this is to be a substantial dish (lunch/ mains etc) you may wish to add: Olives (stoned) Freshly cooked pasta (to time with when calamari is finished cooking) Crusty bread.

Clean calamari. Cut off tentacles just below the beak. Remove and discard ink sac. (*All of this is best done over the kitchen sink. Don’t wear your best gear, ‘cause sometimes the squid ink squirts at you!.)

Pull out intestine (milky- white mushy stuff) and the bendy piece of plastic-like stuff which is the backbone. Cut through the eyes (that's where the ink is!) and discard all but the piece attached to the tentacles. Push up through the hole in the middle of the tentacles and remove (and discard) the beak. It’s the hard roundish thingy.

Rinse the tube like cavity well and then rub/ pull off the grey/black skin from the body and fins of the calamari. Remove skin (if necessary) from the tentacles. Don’t worry too much, though.

Cut tentacles into 2” (5 cm) thick pieces. Cut body (tube) crosswise into 1/4 “ thick (~ 1/2cm) rings.

Place calamari rings and tentacles into a pan with a pinch of salt. Add 1 (Aussie) tablespoon (that’s 4 teaspoons) of water for each full squid. Cover pan and put over medium heat. After 1 min., remove lid from pan and give a good stir. Then replace lid and simmer for a further 2 mins. Remove pan from heat. Taste a piece. It should be deliciously tender. If not, return to heat, cover and cook for another minute or two (it depends on your pan and heat source really- just take care NOT to over-cook). It should look rosy-pink, too.

Tip onto shallow dish / into a colander/ sieve to cool.

Add handful of freshly chopped fresh parsley, some good olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice and S&P to taste, toss well. Serve on lettuce or with stoned olives and warm pasta (+/- green salad) and crusty bread for a good lunch or a light dinner.

Inspired by Stephanie Alexander’s (1985) “Stephanie’s Menus for Food Lovers” , Methuen Haynes, North Ryde, NSW. Australia. ISBN: 0 454 00817 1. (Re-released recently in soft cover).

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