Squid are so Sci-Fi. They look like little aliens, tasty aliens who float around and squirt ink when they are threatened. I love an animal with a creative defense mechanism, and I have always been fascinated by cephalopods. Adult squid spend days near the ocean floor, coming up to the surface at night to feed. They are attracted to light and sparkles (who isn’t?), so squid boats go out at night, outfitted with bright lamps aimed down at the water. Squid boats look like deep-space explorers out on the water. I really tried to get one to take me out, but squidders seemed reluctant to let me tag along for 8 hours on a dark boat with no prior squidding experience. Something about liability blah blah blah. I still dream of freezing out on the water, getting slightly seasick, and watching the weird tentacled creatures get pulled out of the water. My dreams are special.
Market Squid, the squid you will be breaking down (more on that tomorrow) and eating this week, are tiny little guys who swarm near the eastern shore of the Pacific ocean from Baja to Alaska. They are a great find for those of us trying to eat sustainably. They only live for four to nine months, and during that time they breed breed BREED. Good job!
Do you see that gorgeous photo up at the top of this post? It means that we are lucky enough to once again have a recipe from Kimberley Hasselbrink of The Year in Food. Kimberley put squid on her seasonal food guide for June, right when squid season reopened, because she is smart like that. You should definitely read her seasonal food guides to reap the benefits of her wisdom. I heard nothing but raves about her seared salmon recipe, and as expected, this grilled squid salad is delicious. I made some for dinner tonight and ate it in record time. It’s a beautiful salad. Make this and let me know what you think!
DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY BREAKING DOWN SQUID! I will be posting a brief how-to video before the drop on Saturday. It’s easy! And fun!
GRILLED SQUID SALAD
Yield: about 4 servings
1.5 pounds whole squid,cleaned
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup arugula
1 cup chopped radicchio
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, halved and juiced
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt + pepper to taste
First, marinate the squid. In a mixing bowl, combine the squid with 2 tablespoons olive oil, half the lemon juice, the minced garlic, and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Set aside. You’ll want them to sit for no more than a half hour in their marinating liquid, because the acid of the lemon juice will start to cook them.
Prepare your grill for the squid.
While the charcoal briquettes/gas grill are readying, prepare the rest of the salad by mixing together the cherry tomatoes, arugula, radicchio and garbanzo beans. Set this aside and dress at the very end.
When your grill is ready, place squid on the grill. You may use skewers if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. Grill for about 2 minutes on each side. (If your grill is less hot, you may need to increase the time, just a little.)
Remove squid from grill. Slice squid body into one inch sections. Leave tentacles whole.
Toss squid with the rest of the salad. Add the remaining lemon juice, another tablespoon of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Best served immediately.