Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Pan-Grilled Calamari Salads with Lemon-Rosemary Vinaigrette

Pan-grilling calamari adds a pleasant smoky flavor to the mild, slightly sweet flesh of the squid. I first marinated the rings in a savory, spicy rub to complement the smokiness, as well as to give the calamari a bit of a “blackened” look and taste after grilling.

The simple vinaigrette is highlighted with fragrant fresh rosemary, combined with fresh lemon juice for a bright, floral finish.

Lemon and Rosemary
Serves 2


For the Vinaigrette
  • 1-1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2-1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad
  • 1/4 tsp chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/8 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 lb cleaned calamari tubes, cut into 1/4-inch rings
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • sea salt
  • 3 cups torn lettuce greens
  • 1 roma tomato, chopped
  • 1 small celery rib, chopped
  • 2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp dried cherries
  • 1 tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds
  • naan (or other flatbread), warmed (optional)
Calamari Rings
Salad Ingredients

For the Vinaigrette
  1. Whisk the lemon juice, rosemary, and mustard in a small bowl. Add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Let stand 30 minutes.
Lemon-Rosemary Vinaigrette

For the Salad
  1. Combine the chile powder, cayenne, paprika, and black pepper in a medium bowl. Add the calamari rings and toss well to coat. Let stand 20 minutes.
Calamari with Spice Marinade
  1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and brush with olive oil.
  2. Season the calamari with salt and grill until tender and just cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side.
Calamari Beginning to Grill 
Grilled Calamari
  1. Remove the calamari and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, place the greens in a large bowl. Add the cooled calamari, tomato, and next 4 ingredients (through pumpkin seeds). Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss lightly to coat.
To serve, divide the salad between two plates with warm naan or other flatbread alongside, if desired.

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