I have found salad Nirvana.

Setting aside how incredibly delicious this dish is.  It’s so flipping EASY.  And, best of all, if you’re having people over, you make it the day ahead and put it in the refrigerator to marinate.  And it’s one of those dishes that you can vary, depending on what kind of mood you’re in – serve it on some toasted bruschetta as an appetizer.  Mix it with some pasta for a picnic salad (orzo would be outstanding).  Pile it on top of a bed of lettuce.  There are loads of options.

Calamari Salad

  • 1 lb squid, cut into rings 1/4″ thick
  • 1 1/2 cups plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1/2 onion (cut lengthwise), sliced very thinly
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into thirds, lengthwise, then chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, microplaned
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 large handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 6-7 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

First, make the salad – throw the tomatoes, celery, parsley, oregano, pepper flakes, olives, garlic and onion together in a large zip-lock bag.  While you’re doing that, heat a large pan over medium-high heat until it’s very hot, then add a drizzle of olive oil (I used garlic-infused, but you don’t have to) and toss in the squid rings.  Cook no more than a minute – any longer and they’ll be as chewy as pencil erasers.  Add them, still warm, to the bag, then drizzle with the olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar, seal and mix well.  Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary, then pop it into the fridge and let marinade at least 8 hours.  To serve, see some of the ideas listed above.