When brainstorming the perfect dish to go with our Mediterranean-inspired al fresco tabletop that we showed you last week, I knew immediately that I wanted to do something easy and reminiscent of my time in Sicily a few years back. Then it came to me – a family favorite! Pan-seared calamari. The flavors and preparation are so simple, and it’s generally quite the crowd pleaser as well.
Most seafood counters at your local grocery will have the calamari already cleaned and separated for you. I purchased about 1lb for this recipe, but obviously it depends on how you’re serving it (appetizer, salad or entree?) as to how much you’ll need.
INGREDIENTS // serves 2-4
- 1 lb calamari
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- Italian parsley
- olive oil
Coat the pan with a thin layer of olive oil and turn on high heat. Wait until the pan gets nice and hot, and throw the calamari in to get them seared. Keep the heat around medium high to high, and frequently move the calamari around so it doesn’t stick. One they look good and seared, you can add some lemon and dump all the breadcrumbs in, adding olive oil as you go, so the breadcrumbs soak it up. They should cook up fairly quickly – maybe 10 minutes.
If you’re making a salad, like we did, I drizzle a bit of olive oil and sea salt over the arugula and toss that first. Then, top the greens with the calamari, squeezing more lemon over the whole dish, and sprinkling in your chopped parsley for garnish. We added a few large green olives to the salad as well.
What I like about this dish is that it stands well on its own for a light meal, or can make a great starter or side too!
I literally eat this once a week in the warmer months as my main course – add a little rosé or pair it with our refreshing Rooftop Cocktail recipe we showed you earlier this month, and enjoy it all summer long!