• Seared Calamari Salad with Mint


Feast of the Seven Fishes

By Andrew Zimmern

A simple and easy salad, ideal for weeknight dining, and perfect as one of the Feast of the Seven Fishes courses. I get my colatura di alici from Gustiamo. I also buy all my pasta, tomatoes and other ingredients from them as well: gustiamo.com.

Seared Calamari Salad with Mint

Servings: 4


  • 1 pound squid, cleaned, dried, with the pen ‘bone’ discarded
  • 1 Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Carrot, thinly sliced, blanched if you like for color, texture preference
  • Yellow and red cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 3 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil

The Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Colatura di Alici (Italian fish sauce made from anchovies)
  • 1 Calabrian chile pepper or other hot chile thinly sliced
  • Honey, start with a few teaspoons and adjust to taste
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil


Slice the squid tentacle clusters in half, lengthwise.

Cut the squid tubes in 1/3 inch widths. Cut squid should air dry in fridge for 8 hours on a sheet tray lined with paper toweling. I do this the morning that I want to serve the dish. Remove from fridge and let sit for 30 minutes to come to room temperature on a large plate.

Place all the remaining ingredients in a salad bowl.

Place the oil in a large carbon steel pan that has been preheated over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. I use my wok for this, it works great.

Raise heat to high. When oil is smoking hot, add the squid sliding it into the wok or pan off the plate.

Toss for 30-45 seconds. All you want is a good hard sear on whatever part of the squid makes contact with the pan. Swirl once or twice and spill back out onto a clean plate. Season with sea salt and cool for a minute or two. Add to the salad and dress to taste, tossing. Serve.

To make the dressing

Whisk all ingredients together… the balance of salt (colatura), sweet (honey), sour (lemon), and spicy (chile) is the key driver here. Once you are happy with the dressing, add some freshly ground black pepper and drizzle over the salad, tossing well and serve immediately.

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