Calamari Salad - The Chef's Cooking School

Calamari Salad

Calamari is interesting sounding name, it is Italian. The American version doesn’t sound so smooth., Squid.  Either way they are part of the mollusk family.  Mollusk are made up of clams, mussels, oysters and scallops, octopus, squid, cuttlefish and nautili, and then snails and slugs.  Apparently this mollusk family is pretty tasty.

Fresh Squid on a plate waiting to be come a simple Calamari Salad

Calamari - Squid

Calamari and Salad? Who Would've Thought?

Calamari is mild in flavor, this means that the calamari can be complimented with other ingredients rather easily.  Calamari and Salad? Who Would’ve thought?  Why yes calamari can be turned into a salad by poaching it, just until done, then shocking it.  Once you have performed both of these tasks you will make a vinaigrette, chop some vegetables and herbs, there you have it a calamari salad.

Calamari of the mollusk family is a cephalopod.  When you use them to cook they are broken up into 2 parts, tubes and tentacles. If you purchase the whole calamari, you should exam inside the tube.  There is a plastic like membrane that should be removed.  The membrane comes out easily, you grab it and it is literally like a little sheet of plastic.

Once this is removed you can now slice your rings.  Take your tube and lay it on a cutting board.  Take your French knife and slice rings.  Take your sliced tubes and tentacles and rinse them. They are now ready for cooking.

Calamari Salad - Christmas Eve Tradition

Next Christmas when you are wrestling with what to serve on your menu remember this one, Calamari Salad, make it a Christmas Eve Tradition.   If you are Italian and or catholic there is a very good chance that you partake in the “Feast of the 7 fishes”.

Some other dishes might include Bakala, which is a salt cod salad, tuna cakes or meatballs, smoked haddock stew, fish and chips, linguine with clam sauce, shrimp scampi, halibut, sea bass, herring, shrimp cocktail, lobster, crab cakes, seafood arancinis.

This meal stems from the abstinence of meat in the Catholic faith.  This is where the facts leave and the translation begins.  7 is a widely used number for important things in the Bible.   It is thought of as derived to be related to the la Vigilia, or Christmas Eve Dinner in Italian, a huge family concentric celebration.

 Each family often has their own rendition of this meal and what transpires.  The common element is that the family all get together and share a great meal of seafood.  Try this calamari salad and make it part of your Christmas Eve Tradition,  “Feast of the 7 fishes”, La Vigilia.

Is Calamari Salad Good For You?

Is calamari salad good for you, calamari unless fried is relatively low in fat, and calories, high in protein, and cobalamin.  There is not a lot of sodium so if you poach it is more beneficial than frying.  Being a low-calorie high protein option would likely put it into a better nutritional ranking than other foods.  Calamari also contains good levels of omega 3 fatty acids it contains good vitamins and minerals.

The big question is preparation, calamari can be prepared in a number of ways, fried, braised, poached.  While Braising and frying are good options frying is not the best, although it tastes delicious.  So you may ask: Is this calamari salad nutritious?

The calamari for this salad are poached which means they don’t have high levels of fat from frying.  There is a vinaigrette which does contain oil. If you use olive oil, extra virgin olive oil from the first cold press, then it actually has more health benefits.  

Is calamari salad healthy? in this case it is, because of poaching and EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) oil being used.  There certainly could be times when heavy dressings are used and fried isn’t the best options.  So this recipe is a healthy calamari salad recipe.

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Calamari Salad

Calamari, if done properly, is a subtle taste that goes with a number of complimentary flavors.  Here calamari is featured in a salad, light fresh.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
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Servings: 6
Calories: 73kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Calamari
  • 1 T. Green Pepper small diced
  • 1 T. Red Pepper small diced
  • 1 T. Yellow Pepper small diced
  • 1 T. Juice of Lemon
  • 1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 T. Parsley flat, chopped
  • ½ tsp Honey

Instructions

Preparing Tubes & Tentacles

  • Cut tubes into rings and rinse.
  • Poaching, using water lightly seasoned with white wine, lemon juice, bay leaf. 
  • Shock by immersing in water with ice in it; this will immediately stop the cooking process

Make Your Calamari Salad

  • Drop seafood or vegetables into boiling water, reduce to a simmer, cook until just done. 2 - 3 minutes
  • Combine all ingredients, other than the calamari
  • Whisk lemon, olive oil, and honey in a bowl with parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Nutrition Facts
Calamari Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 73 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Cholesterol 176mg59%
Sodium 33mg1%
Potassium 185mg5%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 40IU1%
Vitamin C 4.3mg5%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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