Grilled Squid Salad

Inspired by the investment in flavour that Nonna Franchina made in stuffing her squid, I came up with this recipe, which uses the same principle but in reverse. We're making a mind-blowing salsa to plunge the hot grilled squid straight into, creating a wonderful harmony between flavour and texture. The salsa is also great when used to dress grilled veg, lamb or other seafood, tossed with pasta or as a topping for crostini.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

2 tablespoons baby capers in brine

2 lemons

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove of garlic

1 fresh red chilli

4 anchovy fillets in oil, from sustainable sources

30 grams (1 ounce) shelled unsalted pistachios 

1/2 a bunch of fresh mint (15 grams [0.5 ounce])

4 large squid, cleaned, gutted, from sustainable sources

500 grams (17 ounces) large ripe tomatoes

Directions

  1. Soak the capers in a bowl of water. Squeeze all the lemon juice into a large shallow bowl and add 4 tablespoons of oil. Peel the garlic and finely chop with the chilli, anchovies, pistachios, drained capers and mint leaves. Scrape it all into the bowl and mix together well.
  2. Reserving the tentacles, run a sharp knife down the length of each squid tube, cutting through one side only so you can open each one out like a book. Lightly score the inside of each tube in a criss-cross fashion at 1/2-centimeter (1/4-inch) intervals. To cook the squid, follow Franchina’s guidance and get the tentacles on early, then add the tubes, from largest to smallest. In a screaming hot griddle pan or on a barbecue, cook each piece for about 1 minute per side--with no oil or seasoning--until lightly charred and starting to curl. Start with the cut side when you do the tubes, and keep the squid moving for even cooking. As each piece is done, use tongs to dunk it straight into the salsa, turning and coating it in all that flavour.
  3. Slice the tomatoes and lay over a serving platter. Finely slice the squid tubes, pull the tentacles apart, then arrange on top of the tomatoes. Spoon over all the remaining salsa and serve hot or at room temperature.
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