Calamari salad makes a great antipasto dish or side salad, served either chilled or at room temperature. It is similar in flavor to octopus salad but much quicker to make. Squid takes about one minute to cook, whereas octopus takes about one hour. Chilling the squid for several hours helps to intensify the flavors. I usually can’t wait long enough to let it chill because the salad is so good right after it’s made. Calamari salad can be refrigerated for up to 6 hours. If you plan on allowing the salad to chill longer than three hours, I recommend adding the parsley just before serving so that it doesn’t wilt.
CALAMARI SALAD WITH OLIVES AND CAPERS
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
2 1/2 pounds cleaned squid
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green olives
1/3 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup finely minced onion or scallions
1/4 cup capers
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Fresh ground black pepper
MAKE THE DRESSING: Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar in a small bowl. Stir in garlic, oregano, and lemon zest and set aside.
PREPARE THE SQUID: Rinse the squid in cold running water and drain in a colander. Cut the squid bodies into 1/2-inch rings cross-wise, including the flaps, and cut the tentacles in half lengthwise.
COOK THE SQUID: Bring 3 quarts of water and 3 tablespoons salt to boil in a 5 to 6-quart pot. Have ready a large bowl with ice water. Add squid and cook for 60 to 70 seconds, just until opaque. Drain squid in a colander and immediately place in bowl of ice water to prevent further cooking. When the squid is cool, transfer back into colander and drain well. Pat the squid dry with paper towels.
MAKE THE SALAD: Combine the squid, dressing, celery, olives, parsley, onion, capers, and red pepper (if using) in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit a minimum of 30 minutes before serving or refrigerate up to 6 hours to allow flavors to develop.