Friday, September 4, 2009

A Greek inspired salad for Spring....

I adore seafood of all varieties and there is nothing better than super fresh calamari, grilled simply with garlic, chilli and lemon. Tonight's dinner is a quick and easy salad with fresh Greek flavours and beautiful local Calamari.

When buying Calamari (or Squid), I really advise against buying pre cleaned, pre cut rings. You have no way to judge how fresh they are and in my experience they end up resembling rubber bands when they are cooked. Yuk. Buy whole squid and clean them yourself, or if you are a big wuss and are too squeamish to tackle the job yourself, buy them whole but get the fishmonger to clean them for you on the spot. Choose Calamari that are not too large - I find the really huge ones are more likely to be tough when cooked, even though they may be less fiddly to clean. Also, don't disgard the tenticles - carefully trim them off and use them too (actually, they are my favourite bits - I love how they go slightly crispy when you grill them - Yummo!)

You will notice I haven't specified amounts for the salad ingredients in the recipe - just throw in as little or as much as you want, depending on how many people you are serving. This salad can be served when the Calalmari is warm or cold, either way, it is delicious. As always, adjust the seasonings to your taste (tonight I used extra chilli because I wanted a bit more heat) You could also substitute the lemon for fresh lime if you like. You could also add olives or Fetta cheese for an even more Greek vibe to the dish. This works well as a main course salad or a really nice fresh tasting starter.

Calamari and Rocket Salad
with Kipfler Potatoes and Garlicky Lemon/Yoghurt Dressing

You will need: (For the Calamari) 1 medium sized calamari per person, cleaned and cut into rings, 1-2 small red chillies chopped finely, 2 cloves garlic crushed, generous splash of olive oil, squeeze of lemon, salt, pepper.

(For the salad) Rocket leaves, finely sliced Spanish onion, sliced cucumber, cooked potato (I used a few small Kipfler potatoes sliced lengthways, but you can use other varieties)

(For the dressing) 1 tablespoon good quality natural yoghurt (I use an organic, Greek style one), splash of olive oil, squeeze of lemon, 1 crushed clove garlic, 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar,salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon warm water.

Method: Combine the Calamari and the marinade ingredients and allow to marinate for at least 20mins. Combine all the dressing ingredients and mix well - set aside. Combine your salad ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Heat a grill pan and cook your Calamari in batches - it will cook very quickly, so don't let it sit in the pan too long, or your Calamari will be rubbery.

Combine the Calamari with the salad ingredients. Put on a serving plate and drizzle with the yoghurt dressing. Done!



  1. This sounds very spring--may I suggest adding a bit of grilled baby octopus------maybe half squid and half octopus-finish with just a few drops of smiked paprika oil.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. I do love baby octopus but I have found it is quite hard to get baby octopus that doesn't come from Thailand - I avoid it as it is severely overfished there and is one of the less sustainable seafoods. I do see local baby octopus occasionaly though and would definitely try it with the paprika. The flavour would be great :)

  3. Greek calamri is the best,,,,,where to get it?