On a stormy night a couple of weeks ago a friend and I ventured out to dinner at The Boat Shed, an iconic Nelson restaurant, perched on the edge of the harbour. We decided to Trust The Chef, and as we oooohed and aaaaahed and OMGd our way through the following six or seven dishes, my mind was somewhat relieved from worrying about the rain which was bucketing in through my dining room ceiling back home. A couple of hours in a "dry place" savouring some heavenly food was just the distraction I needed.
One dish that really delighted us both, and which has been on my mind ever since, was a zingy squid, chorizo and chilli salad. It reminded me a little of a seafood, fennel and lime salad from Ottolenghi The Cookbook that I'd had bookmarked for ages.
Since it's Pot Luck week this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, it seemed like a good time to spend a little time with Ottolenghi and conjure up my own version of this salad, which is a little bit Ottolenghi and a little bit Boat Shed.
This made a great dish for a light lunch. It was quick and simple to put together, and is definitely a dish I will be making again. Had it been a nice sunny day, this would have been lovely to enjoy al fresco, but on a wintery Sunday warmed by the heat pump it still brought back memories of squid salads in the Greek islands.
Chorizo & Calamari Salad with Black Olives & Pomegranate Recipe
Inspired by The Boat Shed and Yotam Ottolenghi
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
2 small fennel bulbs
generous handful of coriander
1x mild red chilli, deseeded & finely sliced
handful of black olives
extra virgin olive oil
freshly squeezed lemon juice
flaky sea salt
1x chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
400g (14 oz) cleaned calamari tubes
pomegranate seeds to finish
Trim the bases and tops off the fennel bulbs, reserving a few of the feathery fronds. Cut the fennel in half lengthwise, and then slice them as thinly as you can - a mandolin is the ideal tool if you have one - and place in a large bowl. Finely chop the reserved fennel fronds and add them to the bowl. Add the roughly chopped coriander, chilli and black olives. Drizzle over extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice to taste, and season with a little flaky sea salt, again to taste. Set aside.
Heat a little olive oil (you won't need much) in a small pan over medium heat, and saute the chorizo sausage until browned on both sides. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, cut the calamari tubes into pieces about 5cm (2 inches) square, and score lightly with a sharp knife. Toss with a little olive oil and a generous pinch of flaky sea salt. Heat a chargrill pan over high heat (cast iron is perfect for the job) until smoking. Grill the calamari in small batches until just done - about 1 minute on each side. Remove from heat.
Add the calamari and chorizo to the salad. Toss until well combined and serve immediately, garnished with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds.
If you would like to get to know Yotam Ottolenghi a little better or any one of our other IHCC chefs, then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and see what they've all cooked up for Pot Luck week ...
... or check out Ottolenghi The Cookbook and Ottolenghi's other great titles available from Amazon USA, Amazon UK or Fishpond NZ.
I'll also be sharing this post at See Ya In the Gumbo hosted by the lovely, and very amusing, Michelle at Ms. enPlace, at Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays hosted by my lovely friend Deb at Kahakai Kitchen, at Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads, and at Foodie Friday hosted by Designs by Gollam.