Basque Calamari Salad

  • Active Time 25m
  • Total Time 1h 10m
  • Rating ****

Serves 6 as a first course; 4 as a main course

In this spicy salad, calamari is prepared in the Basque style with plenty of tomatoes, red peppers and garlic. To ensure the best flavor, slice the onions and peppers paper-thin, using a mandoline if available, and be sure not to overcook the calamari. Depending on how hungry you are, this salad can be served either as an appetizer or a main course. A chilled dry rosé is a delicious complement.


  • For the Calamari Salad:
  • 1 pound squid
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large red bell peppers, seeded, deribbed and very thinly sliced
  • 2 white onions, very thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Spicy Tomato Vinaigrette:
  • 1/3 cup tomato and red pepper coulis
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Companion recipe: Tomato and Red Pepper Coulis



Clean the squid. Cut off the tentacles above the eyes. Remove the hard round beak lodged in the base of the tentacles by pushing it out. Pull the entrails free of the body and discard. Then pull out the transparent cartilage, or quill, and discard. Rinse the body under cold running water, flushing the body tube well. Using your fingers, pull off the mottled skin covering the body. Cut the body into rings 1/4 inch wide. Set the rings and tentacles aside.

Warm the olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the bell peppers, onions and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the cayenne, salt and black pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and peppers are very soft, about 30 minutes. Set aside.

Bring a saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil. Add the squid and cook until just firm, about 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain and rinse immediately under cold running water. Drain well and set aside.


Whisk together the tomato and red pepper coulis, vinegar, parsley, cayenne pepper, salt and white pepper in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and whisk for about 30 seconds until well-blended and emulsified.

Add the squid and the onion-pepper mixture to the vinaigrette. Toss gently but thoroughly. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to 1 day. Serve chilled.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 722

nutrition information per serving

225 calories; 15g total fat; 176mg cholesterol; 239mg sodium; 11g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 13g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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