Having finally recovered from the holidays, I am now physically preparing myself for Trinidad Carnival in February, which means getting rid of my “holiday weight”. You know what I mean: all of those extra pounds gained by eating your families’ traditional Christmas favourites coupled with some long, lazy days of hibernation. I was inspired by seeing a lot of fresh fish in New York’s Chinatown and eating grilled octopus as my appetizer whenever possible because it tasted so good yet is perfect for my new healthy eating plan. Impress your loved ones at the dinner table with this delish salad that excites the palate or make everyone at work jealous when you tuck in at lunch time.
I couldn’t get fresh octopus so I decided to opt for squid instead. It was my first time cleaning squid but, as intimidating as it looks, it is really simple. I encourage you not to be scared off by ingredients that you may not use regularly because as you’ll see the end result is well worth it. Firstly, I removed the head and tentacles with one pull before taking out the transparent spine, then by squeezing the tip and pushing down (as you would do when trying to get out the last bit of toothpaste from the tube) I got rid of the innards. Finally, I removed the wings, although some people recommend to remove the skin first, I found that when I removed the wings the skin came off at the same time.
Live, Love, Eat!
- 1/2 lb squid (approx. 4), cleaned
- a dozen marinated olives (pitted), sliced
- 2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
- 0.4 lb new potatoes, quartered
- 1/8 cup parsley, chopped
- 4 tablespoons capers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lemon/lime
- 2 cups of arugula
- Tobasco (optional)
- salt and pepper
- Boil potatoes in salted water for 4 minutes or just until they slide off a fork.
- Meanwhile, slice squid into one inch slices.
- In a separate bowl add the olives, red onion, new potatoes, parsley, capers, olive oil, juice of one lemon and add salt & pepper to taste (about .5 tsp of each).
- Remove potatoes form the stove and strain then soak in cold water.
- Heat a lightly greased skillet (preferably a cast iron grill pan) over medium heat and cook squid for about two minutes on each side. To see if the squid is cooked, cut a piece and if the centre is not completely opaque in needs a little more time, but do not over-cook as squid will become rubbery.
- Add potatoes and squid to the bowl of other ingredients and mix thoroughly before placing on a bed of arugula. You can add a few dashes of Tobasco before serving for a little spice.