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Grilled calamari with fennel and lemon salt

This simple grilled calamari recipe makes for the perfect light lunch.

By Rodney Dunn
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 2
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This is the ultimate summer barbecue dish that tastes simply wonderful washed down with a cold one. You can serve this as a starter or as part of a larger feast.


  • 600 gm calamari (about 4), cleaned and scored (see our masterclass on cleaning calamari), tentacles reserved
  • 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, halved, thickly sliced lengthways, fronds reserved
Fennel and lemon salt
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 lemon, finely grated rind only
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp olive oil


  • 1
    For fennel and lemon salt, dry roast fennel seeds in a small frying pan for 2-3 minutes. Coarsely crush with a mortar and pestle, stir through salt, lemon rind, juice and olive oil, then set aside.
  • 2
    Preheat char-grill over high heat. Cut calamari into large pieces and combine with half the olive oil and reserved tentacles in a bowl. Season to taste, then grill, scored-side down, until golden (1-2 minutes). Turn and grill other side until opaque and just cooked through (1-2 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • 3
    Brush fennel slices with remaining olive oil and grill, turning once, until tender (2 minutes each side). Add to calamari, toss to combine. Scatter coarsely chopped fennel fronds over grilled calamari and fennel and serve with fennel and lemon salt.


Drink Suggestion: Off-dry riesling. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • undefined: Rodney Dunn