My Friend Squid

This recipe was more of a learning experience for me. I’ve tried twice to buy frozen squid at Asian markets and both times I have been disappointed. I’m not sure what is going wrong, but both times I’ve found myself with fishy smelling stuff once it is defrosted. Needless to say, I was not all that happy with the result. The recipe itself is still good though, as I’ve made it lots of time with fresh or frozen squid that I purchased either at the supermarket or at a restaurant supply depot. You live and you learn I suppose, but I promise that this simple cold salad is really tasty when the warmer weather comes around.

My father once told me that cooking squid is simple so long as you remember one rule: To avoid rubbery squid, you must remember to cook it for either one minute or one hour. Seriously, boil your water and pop the squid in, after a minute they are done (they will become opaque and shrink a bit). The lemon in the recipe will take care of any rareness that might be left, so don’t be nervous. You and the squid are friends.

Squid Salad

Squid Salad

squid (about 1lb, but remember that squid shrinks a lot from cooking, so you might want more than you think)
extra virgin olive oil, 3 tbs
fresh lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
one clove or less crushed garlic
one chopped scallion (optional)
chopped cilantro, 1-2 tbs
crushed red pepper (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

As I said above, cook the squid in boiling water for one minute, drain and put aside. To another bowl add olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic, scallion and crushed red pepper if you are using them, and salt and pepper to taste. Once you are happy with the seasoning, add the warm squid and mix to coat. At this point, you can either add the cilantro now or wait for the squid to cool off more. Adding the cilantro while the squid is warm will make it wilt and darken a bit. If this bothers you, you can add the chopped cilantro right before serving. Refrigerate at least two hours before serving to let the squid marinate and the flavors mix.

This recipe is really versatile, so feel free to experiment and make things more according to your taste. I love eating this in the summer with a big side of mixed greens and tomatoes from my garden. It also makes a great addition to any antipasto.

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