The Recipes

Grilled Calamari with Fennel

This is a perfect, light application for calamari as an appetizer.  Pair it with some pasta, or increase the portion with some greens, and you have a full lunch.  The key to great grilled calamari is to not let it become chewy, which is also generally the crime committed in restaurants with the ever-pervasive fried calamari.

Grilled Calamari with Fennel


Ingredients:

- 1-2 calamari bodies
- 2 slices of fennel, root in tact
- 1/2 T. capers
- fennel fronds for garnish
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt
- pepper
- olive oil

Heat a grill pan or griddle.  Slice the calamari bodies into rings.  Season them with salt.  When you slice the fennel, keep the root attached so that you can easily flip it on the grill pan.  Season the fennel with salt.  Put the fennel on the grill.  Let it turn light brown and start to carmelize.  Flip the fennel and add the calamari to the grill.  Meanwhile, let a small sautee pan heat with 2 T. of olive oil on another burner.  As soon as the calamari is opaque, remove it from the grill.  Remove the fennel when both sides are golden brown.  Plate the fennel topped with the calamari.

Once the sautee pan is screaming hot, add the capers and let them cook for 1-2 minutes.  Drain them on a paper towel-lined plate.  Squeeze the lemon over the calamari, and drizzle some good finishing oil over the plate.  Top with the capers and fresh-cracked black pepper, finishing with some of the fennel fronds.