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Sicilian calamari salad

Australian Gourmet Traveller seafood entree recipe for Sicilian calamari salad

By Rodney Dunn
  • Serves 4
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Sicilian calamari salad
The flavours and textures of seafood meld seamlessly with most salad ingredients, allowing prawns to be swapped for scallops or lobster to be substituted for crab. Citrus, as you would expect, makes the perfect partner for seafood, whether segmented and incorporated into the salad or squeezed into the dressing. Thai cooks even use the leaves of kaffir lime to give their salads an extra citrus dimension.


  • 80 ml extra-virgin olive oil (1/3 cup)
  • 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tsp raw sugar
  • 50 ml red wine vinegar
  • 60 gm raisins
  • ¼ loaf ciabatta, crusts removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 kg calamari, cleaned, heads thinly sliced and tentacles reserved
  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp salted baby capers, soaked and drained
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley


  • 1
    Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan, add onion and cook over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes or until softened. Sprinkle with sugar, add vinegar and raisins and simmer for 1 minute until reduced by half. Remove from heat and set aside until required.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 180C. Coarsely tear bread and combine in a large bowl with
    2 tsp olive oil and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread bread over an oven tray and cook for 10 minutes or until golden, then cool.
  • 3
    Heat remaining olive oil in a large frying pan, add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, add calamari and reserved tentacles and cook over high heat for 3 minutes or until just cooked. Season to taste.


For a prawn, pea and bean salad, blanch podded peas, snowpeas and baby beans in a saucepan of salted boiling water, drain and refresh in iced water, then drain again. Peel cooked prawns and combine with peas and beans, picked mint leaves and thinly sliced green onion. Whisk together, lemon juice, finely chopped preserved lemon rind, Dijon mustard and extra-virgin olive oil until well combined, pour over salad and toss to combine.
For a blue-eye trevalla and chervil salad, poach fish gently in a mixture of salted water, lemon wedges, chopped onion and black peppercorns until just cooked. Cool, then flake fish and combine with shaved red onion, chervil leaves, rinsed salted capers and quartered soft boiled eggs. Season to taste and serve drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice.