Chefs' Recipes

Alpha's calamari with fava, barley rusks, capers and rocket

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for calamari with fava, barley rusks, capers and rocket by Alpha restaurant in Sydney.

By Peter Conistis
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 50 mins cooking
  • Serves 6 - 8
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Calamari with fava, barley rusks, capers and rocket
"Fava is a great dish.," says Conistis. The best split peas come from the island of Santorini, which is also known for its capers and seafood. "This dish captures all the flavours of Santorini on one plate."


  • 175 gm Cretan barley rusks (see note)
  • 2 tbsp salted capers, rinsed
  • ½ cup each finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and mint (loosely packed)
  • 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1.5 kg calamari (4 medium), cleaned, tubes left whole, wings and tentacles reserved
  • To serve: rocket, thinly sliced spring onion and lemon wedges
  • 350 gm dried yellow split peas
  • 3 golden shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 50 ml lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped oregano (firmly packed)
  • 1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried Greek oregano (see note)


  • 1
    For fava, rinse split peas in a sieve under cold running water, transfer to a large saucepan with shallot, bay leaves and garlic, cover with cold water to 3cm above the split peas and simmer, stirring occasionally, over low heat until tender (about 45 minutes). Drain (reserve cooking liquid separately; discard bay leaves), then process split peas in a food processor with oil and enough of the reserved liquid (about 200ml) to form a smooth purée. Season to taste and keep warm.
  • 2
    Preheat a char-grill pan over medium heat. Crumble barley rusks into a bowl, add capers, parsley, mint, oil and garlic, season with freshly ground black pepper to taste and stir to combine. Spoon a quarter into each calamari tube (do not overstuff), drizzle with a little oil and char-grill tubes, wings and tentacles until golden and cooked through (2 minutes on each side).
  • 3
    For ladolemono, whisk ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and set aside.
  • 4
    Divide calamari, fava and rocket among plates, pour ladolemono over, scatter with spring onion and serve with lemon wedges.


Drink Suggestion: 2009 Antonoupolous Gris de Noir, Mantinia, Greece. Drink suggestion by Vanessa Chant