Grilled Calamari with Warm Tomato Vinaigrette
Recipe courtesy of Chef and Beer Sommelier Tonia Wilson . Wilson’s interest in food and beer pairing flourished while living and working in Brussels. She is a certified Beer Sommelier and regular contributor to the LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine, where she writes about food and drink.
This dish is a great springtime dish as it is light, yet full of vibrant flavour. Purchase the calamari already cleaned to keep things simple.
1 ½ lb (700 gr) cleaned calamari (squid), or 8 pieces
½ tsp (2 mL) chili flakes
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 tsp (2 mL) lemon zest, finely grated
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup (60 mL) Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped (not from a can)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp (5 mL) sugar (optional)
1 tbsp (15 mL) white or red wine vinegar
Salt to taste
- Pat calamari tubes and tentacles dry with paper towel, score the calamari 3 times on each side, making sure to not cut right through. In a bowl toss the calamari together with the chili flakes, lemon juice, lemon zest, a good pinch of salt and 1 tbsp of the oil. Refrigerate for 2 hours to marinate.
- Meanwhile in a medium pan heat the rest of the oil over medium heat, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the olives and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, sugar and a pinch of salt. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until the tomatoes are softened and most of the liquid has reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and parsley, reseason if necessary and set aside until calamari is ready.
- Heat oiled grill to high, carefully place tubes and tentacles on grill. Let cook for 4 minutes before turning over and grilling another 4 minutes.
- Place cooked calamari on a platter, gently warm the tomato vinaigrette and place over top.
Tip: serve with some fresh greens and crusty bread.
Serves 4 as a light lunch or appetizer.