Calamari Salad Recipe
My Italian Grandmother's Calamari Salad
It is a tradition in Italian families to have a seafood feast on Christmas Eve. One of the traditional seven fish dishes served annually is calamari (since you are reading this lens on Squidoo, I assume you know what that is).
Breaded and fried or stuffed or, as my Grandmother did, in a simple but tasty salad that served to complement the other richer menu dishes. There are many variations of Italian Calamari Salad, but this is the basic recipe. You can add olives, carrot curls, green and yellow pepper, and a bit of garlic if you like. But Nana made it this way and this recipe is my version of Proust's madeleines at the holiday time.
Serve as part of a traditional Itallian Christmas Eve Feast but don't restrict enjoying Calamari salad to once a year.
It also makes a great appetizer or you can serve it on a bed of salad greens with a basket of fresh, crusty Italian bread and a glass of wine for a refreshing summer lunch.
In colder weather, try calamari salad accompanied by a steaming bowl of hot hearty tomato soup or seafood bisque and sesame breadsticks.
Start with this basic Italian Calamari Salad recipe and add your own creative touches.
Healthy, low calorie, economical, satisfying and delicious year 'round.
- 2 lbs. cleaned and cut calamari (tube rings and "claws"), See Note Below*
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
- 1 medium lemon, juiced
- 1 medium or 1/2 large sweet red pepper, cleaned and diced
- vinegar, salt, and pepper, to taste
You can buy whole and cut calamari frozen or start with fresh whole squid, which is a lot better if available and my personal preference, in which case you'll need a bit more to yield about 2 lbs cleaned and sliced (See below for how to clean squid)
How to Clean Fresh Whole Calamari (Recommended) (Or Use Cleaned & Frozen and Skip This Step)
- Rinse whole squid under cold running water.
- Cut off tentacles just above eye and remove "button" (eye) in center of tentacles, which should pop out easily. Run fingernail over "suction cups" on each "arm" of the tentacle to remove a small circle of harder material at the base of each. Rinse tentacles and put aside.
- Remove the ink sac, center cartilage "bone" (looks and feels like thin plastic) and eyes as one piece and discard.
- Cut off and discard fins
- Wash body and tentacles thoroughly under cold running water, rubbing and peeling off outer skin.
Here's a video that shows you how - It is a lot easier than you think!
Instructions Part 1
• The squid body should be cut into rings if whole. If using frozen, follow package directions.
• Bring a large saucepan filled about 2/3 of the way with water to a boil and blanch squid rings and tentacles.
Note: Do not "cook" it as it will get tough and rubbery if left in the boiling water too long. Squid should not be raw but it only takes a minute or two to blanch enough to keep it tender.
• Drain the blanched squid in the colander and run under cold water to cool and stop it from cooking further
Instructions Part 2
• Put drained calamari in large mixing bowl. Add sliced onions, diced pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, and vinegar.
• Toss and chill for several hours or overnight, tossing once or twice again after a few hours and returning to fridge (I actually prefer this made a day in advance).
• Serve cold. Makes about 4 to 5 cups.
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A Few More of Our Favorite Recipes
- Easy, Elegant Leg of Lamb
Wine infused lamb recipe. From choosing the meat to carving.
- Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)
Crisp and flaky with a spinach and feta filling, Spanikopita is surprisingly easy to make.
- Italian Rainbow Cookies
Rainbow colored 3-layer chocolate topped cookies with a delicate almond flavor.
- Best Holiday Cookie Recipe: Greek Wedding Crescents
Melt-in-your-mouth buttery rich Greek cookies (Kourambiethes).
And Wine to Serve With Them
Red or white, dry or sweet,
imported or domestic, choose
your favorite from your cellar
or order from
Cellars Wine Club
Just great wines.
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© 2010 Chazz