I have declared it Dinner Salad Week at my house. In an effort to lose a few pounds and eat more produce, I have banned carbs from our dinner table for a little while. Since I am not usually a big salad-eater, this has also forced me to dig through my piles of clippings and search online to try a few new things.
For quite some time, I have had a bag of frozen calamari in my freezer. We eat calamari almost daily when we visit my husband’s family in Greece but I have never cooked it myself. I guess that makes calamari my New Ingredient of the Month. Originally, I bought the calamari for a coconut, curry dish I was considering but that never materialized. The calamari must have known they were meant for healthier, fresher things. I started with this recipe from Epicurious but then changed a little along the way based on the facts that I wanted more garlic, I do not like raw tomatoes, celery sounded bad to me in this dish and I prefer the flavor of Greek oregano to parsley. It all worked and turned out to be one of the best salads I have ever made!
Greek Calamari Salad
1 1/2 lb cleaned squid (or a bag of rings, frozen)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano (or Italian will do)
1/2 red onion, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
If the calamari is frozen, blanch it in boiling water for about one minute or until just thawed. Remove it from the hot water and run it under cold water. Too much cooking will make it rubbery. If it is fresh, rinse it, pat it dry and cut squid in rings and the tentacles in halves. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet with 2 of the cloves of crushed garlic. Add the calamari and toss quickly for about 30-60 seconds or for the fresh calamari, just until no longer transparent. Set aside in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, 1 clove crushed garlic, salt, pepper and oregano. Pour about half of the dressing over the calamari. Toss the onion and olives in with the calamari mixture and let stand for flavors to mix together. At this point, you can also refrigerate the salad and dressing for a day. When serving, toss mixed greens with the remaining dressing. Serve the calamari mixture over the greens.