Christmas Eve Calamari Salad
- 1 1⁄2 lbs cleaned squid
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, to taste
- 1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onion (1 small onion, thinly sliced)
- 1⁄3 cup pitted kalamata olive, halved lengthwise
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes (3/4 lb) or 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved if large (3/4 lb)
- 2 celery ribs, sliced (cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices)
- 1⁄2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1⁄4 cup crumbled feta (optional)
- Rinse all the squid under running water and pat dry.
- Cut the tentacle bunches in half, and cut the bodies into 1/4 to 1/3-inch wide rings; cut the wings from the bodies.
- Fill a 5 or 6 quart pot full of water, add a couple teaspoons of salt, and bring it to a boil.
- Prepare a bowl of ice water.
- Cook all the prepared squid pieces in the boiling water until just opaque, a brief 40 to 60 seconds, then remove from pot and immediately plunge into the ice water to halt the cooking.
- When squid has cooled, transfer to a colander, let drain, and pat dry; set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper; add in onion, stir, and let the dressing stand for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked squid, olives, tomatoes, celery, parsley, basil, and feta (if using), then toss with the dressing.
- Let salad stand, tossing occasionally, for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
- Note: although good eaten right after preparation, it’s even better if you chill it for 8 hours – tossing occasionally - then bring it to room temperature before serving (about 1 hour); also, some people prefer the onion to be sautéed lightly before adding it to the salad.
- Makes 4 main course servings, 8 side dish servings.