Dinner tonight: potato and calamari salad

Last month, when asked by one of my cousins if he liked my cooking, my child answered he loves going to my classes because I reserve all my best recipes for those. "I am so tired of getting the same food all the time at home" he said. He might be exaggerating a bit, but since I intend to maintain the monopoly to his heart as long as possible, I have been hard at work devising varied dishes that can be made in the 30 to 40 minutes I typically set aside for cooking dinner on weeknights.

This is what happened tonight.

Insalata di calamari e patateCalamari e patate Calamari and potato salad

for 6 people 1.5 pounds whole calamari splash dry white wine 3 to 4 whole peppercorns 1 lemon 1 generous handful parsley and or basil (or a mix of the 2) salt to taste 12 new yellow potatoes olive oil pepper to taste 1 clove garlic (optional)


Clean the calamari as follows: divide the bodies from the tentacles. Clean the body by squeezing out the guts and carefully pulling out the bone. Turn the tentacles over and squeeze out the beak at the center, turn back over, poke the eyes and squeeze out the eyeballs. Rinse the cleaned squid. In my opinion there is absolutely no need to remove the skin.

To a pot of water, add the white wine, peppercorns, 1 slice of the lemon, a few leaves of the herb you are using and a very generous pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil, add the calamari, cover and turn off the heat. Let sit while preparing the rest of the dish.

Cut the potatoes in slices about 1/4" thick and steam them until they can be easily pierced with a knife. In the meantime, prepare the dressing.

Pick the leaves off the herb and mince them finely. Squeeze the lemon juice. Smash and peel the garlic clove. Stir some salt into the lemon juice and whisk in some olive oil in a stream in a proportion of 3 to 1 fat to acid. Add the minced herbs, pepper to taste and whole garlic clove. Keep in mind that this can all be done in a food processor.

Transfer the potatoes to a bowl. Drain the calamari and discard the flavorings in the water. Leave the tentacles whole and slice the bodies in slanted rings of about 1". Add them to the bowl.

Remove the garlic from the dressing and discard. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and calamari and mix well. Adjust salt, pepper and lemon and serve.

Please note that while this is a dish in which I prefer no more than the fragrance of garlic as not to overpower it, one should feel free to mince it into the dressing.

Also, I used new potatoes with very thin and soft skin, so I left it on. They can be substituted with larger potatoes, which will need to be peeled.