Yes, I know it's now Sunday, but here rather belatedly is my contribution this week to Magazine Mondays. This just seems to have been the week that got away from me - Monday was Labour Day here in New Zealand, which was an opportunity for us to head out to the beach, enjoy a family picnic, bask in the first really warm rays of spring sunshine, and have a complete day off. Great stuff, but somehow I've been playing "catch up" ever since.
So, in the same spirit as the "Claytons" post I shared with you yesterday, I am once again going to spare you the entertaining preamble and get straight to the recipe. This recipe comes from the October 2007 issue of ABC Delicious magazine. This salad is quite simply wonderful - the squid is marinated in a lemony, herby bath before being grilled or barbequed over high heat, then served on top of a fresh, crisp, green salad tossed with a lemony vinaigrette spiked with chilli. This is the perfect springtime dish - the perfect finish to a day out in the sun, or would also be wonderful for a light lunch.
If you're a bit squeamish about buying whole squid and cleaning them yourself, ask your fishmonger to do it for you or buy ready to go squid/calamari tubes. I had never cleaned them myself before this, but decided to be brave and give it a go - it was actually much easier than I anticipated and was not nearly so "yukky" as I thought it might be. Wouldn't hesitate to do this again.
Life is so "convenient" these days that it is very easy to be very detached from the source of our food, and it's very easy when you pick up that clean white "tube" at the fishmongers to completely overlook where it came from. Getting involved in the process of cleaning the squid helped me to have a greater appreciation of what I was actually eating, and respect for that creature that was once swimming around in the ocean. I'm not opposed to eating animals, but I think it is important to do it with some degree of reverence and appreciation - it is not something we should just take for granted .... ever.
Chargrilled Lemon Herb Squid Salad Recipe
Adapted from recipe in ABC Delicious Magazine, October 2007
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
I'm being a bit liberal with quantities here, as this is one of those recipes where nothing needs to be too specific. You could easily adjust for more or less people, or you may want to vary quantities depending on whether you are serving for lunch or dinner or as part of a multi-course meal or buffet.
For each person allow -
1 or 2 whole squid (or cleaned tubes), depending on size
(Also bear in mind that if you are using whole squid, you will also have the benefit of getting the tentacles as well, so you might need a little less than if you were using just the tubes - I would suggest something like 3 whole squid for 2 people)
Marinade (enough for 4 large squid):
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, juice & zest
handful chopped Vietnamese mint (original recipe uses oregano)
handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
salt & pepper
mixed baby salad leaves
cucumber, peel, deseed & slice
avocado, cut into chunks or slices
celery, slice thinly
green capsicum, deseed & slice
(original recipe also used snow pea sprouts, which I didn't have)
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 long red chilli, remove seeds & chop finely
1/2 teaspoon palm sugar (original recipe uses brown sugar)
flaky sea salt
First prepare the squid. If you decide to have a go at cleaning the squid yourself, you can find a good demonstration on YouTube here:
Once cleaned, cut the squid tubes down one long side and open out flat. With a sharp knife, score (don't cut all the way through) the inside of the squid body in a criss-cross pattern, then cut the whole thing into about 8 pieces (if large), or just into quarters (if small).
Now to the marinade. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, freshly grated lemon zest, chopped herbs, and season well with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the squid pieces to the bowl and toss well to coat completely with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. You will note that I haven't given any specific quantities - feel free to use these in any proportion that appeals to you. Leave out an ingredient if you don't have it, or add in another ingredient that you might have on hand. Treat this list as just suggestions - my only real dictum here would be (and this may be just one of my "things") is: whatever you add in - keep it green! Please don't make this a home for tomatoes or carrots just because you happen to have a couple lying around. The only hint of red I approve of here is the little bit of chilli in the dressing.
You could now either divide this salad up onto individual serving plates, or keep it in one big bowl or platter to serve family style.
Next make the dressing by simply combining all the ingredients in a screw-top jar, shake well and taste - adjust seasoning if necessary.
Preheat a barbeque or a grill pan over very high heat. When hot, add the squid (in small batches), scored-side down. Cook for just a couple of minutes each side, until chargrilled in appearance, taking care not to overcook or you will end up with "rubber bands".
Immediately the squid pieces are cooked, remove from the heat, set aside, and repeat until all pieces are cooked.
Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss gently to combine.
Arrange the squid over the top of the salad and serve while still warm.
I'm submitting this post to Magazine Mondays - mmmm, can't wait to see what else is cooking. You can find last week's round-up here at ReTorte.
I'm also submitting this post to the Hearth and Soul blog hop, a place where you'll find lots of wonderful people who are passionate about great food and cooking from the heart - do go and have a look at what they're all cooking this week.