Warm Calamari Salad – The Best-Laid Plans of Squid and Men

There was nothing wrong with this warm calamari salad, except the most important thing. I’ve had “cast-iron calamari” before, which featured gorgeously seared, almost charred, pieces of squid. While well caramelized, the calamari was still tender and moist, which means it was only cooked for a few minutes, over what must have been dangerously high heat.

I figured as long as I got my pan hot enough, I should be fine. Wrong. Well, technically right, but wrong because I added way too much into the pan at one time. I really needed to do a single order at a time, and it probably would have been fine, but once that whole pound went in, the temp dropped, and you saw the results.

I still enjoyed a flavorful, healthy lunch, but not the one I’d dreamed about. The good news however, was that I ate the leftovers cold, tossed with the same salad ingredients, and it was actually better. So, if you are planning on doing the same recipe, as shown, I would suggest serving it chilled instead. I hope you give this, or that, a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 Warm Calamari Salads:
1 pound cleaned calamari
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon of chipotle powder
pinch of cayenne
1 packed teaspoon light brown sugar
1 sliced jalapeno, seeded
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste once cooked
For the salad base:
4 handfuls baby arugula
1 can (15-oz) cooked white beans, drained, rinsed
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil