Chickpea, calamari and chorizo salad

Frank Camorra
Frank Camorra's chickpea, calamari and chorizo salad.
Frank Camorra's chickpea, calamari and chorizo salad. Photo: Marina Oliphant

Humble pulses are extremely versatile. Soups, braises, salads, purees - they all work well. Pulses are 20 per cent to 25 per cent protein by weight, double the protein of wheat and three times that of rice. Dried pulses need to be soaked overnight to help them cook more evenly. I use Ord River chickpeas from the Kimberley region; they are creamy with excellent flavour. The earthy taste of most pulses lends itself to big flavours, such as grilled beef, juicy pork sausages or roast game.


8 small calamari (about 40g each)

80ml olive oil

1 red eschallot, finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground tumeric

2 lemons, juiced

100g chickpeas, soaked overnight

4 chorizo, thickly sliced into rounds

1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped

10 mint leaves, torn

25 ml cabernet vinegar

2 cups rocket leaves


Remove and discard the head and insides of calamari, including cartilage, then rinse well under cold running water.

Use a sharp knife to open out body lengthways. Scrape out and discard membrane, then score flesh lightly in a cross-hatch pattern and cut into strips.

Combine calamari, 50 millilitres of olive oil, eschallot, garlic, spices and three-quarters of the lemon juice in a bowl and marinate for 20 minutes.

Place chickpeas in a pot, cover with cold water, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until tender.

Drain, place in a bowl, add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil, then taste for seasoning. Heat remaining olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add chorizo and cook, turning once, until crisp (2-3 minutes).

Add to chickpeas and return pan to heat.

Drain squid from marinade, add to pan and cook quickly until squid just turns opaque (1-2 minutes), then add to chorizo mixture.

Add marinade to pan, cook briefly until eschallot is tender (1-2 minutes), season to taste, then pour over squid and chorizo mixture. Add parsley, mint and vinegar, toss to combine and serve immediately on a plate with rocket.