I love squid or calamari if you will! Now growing up I had this salad quite a bit or my Dad would make squid in a spicy red sauce and we would have it served over linguine. Both equally delish! It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that I began eating fried calamari. Now while I do adore a good fried calamari, the calories and fat are usually not splurge worthy for me.
This dish is perfect for a light lunch or dinner because it has a healthy dose of some veg, some protein, good fats from the olives and EVOO, and naturally cleansing properties of the parsley. I love to make this on Christmas Eve as part of the celebration of my Italain roots and the Feast of the Seven Fishes. My kids much prefer the fried calamari, but this is what I crave!
I hope you give this a try. This is one of those dishes that just gets better the longer the flavors meld. I like to make this and have a little, then really enjoy it the next day!
Italian Calamari Salad
An Italian classic, that's refreshing, low cal, and so delicious!
- You can use fresh or frozen defrosted calamari. Do not overcook the calamari, 45-60 seconds tops, no longer or this will yield a very tough chewy texture. I used frozen that I defrosted, and they were tiny ones, I only had to cook them about 40 seconds. Still delish, either way!
You can use tomatoes in this either grape or cherry, I don’t simply because I was taught tomatoes should never be refrigerated and I think they get mealy in a salad if left overnight. But do whatever soothes your soul! xo
- 1 lb cleaned squid
- juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil (you can use more if needed)
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 small red onion, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise (1 cup)
- 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata or black olives, halved lengthwise
- 2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 3 Tbsp. fresh chopped Italian leaf parsley
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- Rinse squid under cold running water, then lightly pat dry between paper towels. If tentacles are large, slice in half cut body crosswise into 1/3-inch-wide rings.
- Cook squid in a 5- to 6-quart pot of boiling salted water uncovered, until just opaque, 40 to 60 seconds. Do not overcook or squid will be tough! Drain in a colander and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. When squid is cool, drain and pat dry.
- Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then stir in onion and let stand to combine about 5-10 minutes.
- Combine squid, olives, celery, and parsley in a large bowl. Toss with vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Let stand at least 15 minutes to allow flavors to develop. This gets better the more it sits! I like to make it a day in advance but I usually “test”it as soon as I let it sit 15 min. Hey a good Chef always tastes her food! Always!!! xo