Grilled calamari, chorizo, palm heart and chickpea salad

Karen Martini
Grilled calamari, chorizo, palm heart and chickpea salad.
Grilled calamari, chorizo, palm heart and chickpea salad. Photo: Marcel Aucar

This is a great early-autumn dish; a deliciously intense little starter, perfect for a sophisticated barbecue. Although calamari can be quite delicate, when grilled, it has such a distinctive and robust flavour that it is perfect with the chorizo and smoky, tangy dressing.


extra virgin olive oil

410g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed well

150g chorizo, sliced on an angle into 1cm-thick pieces

3 small/medium calamari, cleaned, wings attached

salt flakes

freshly ground black pepper

1/2 lemon

40ml sherry vinegar

1 tsp smoked paprika (pimenton)

410g jar palm hearts, drained and cut into 1cm discs (you can cut these into different sizes and shapes to give the presentation some dimension)

1 handful picked dill


1. Add a good splash of olive oil to a large frying pan and fry the chickpeas until they are coloured and crisping up.

2. Grill the chorizo on a hot griddle pan or on the barbecue for one to 1 1/2 minutes each side or until it is nicely coloured. Julienne the chorizo into fat matchsticks. Wipe out the griddle pan and put it back on the heat so that it is nice and hot for the calamari.

3. Split the calamari hoods so that they open out flat, pierce one edge of the calamari with a skewer and thread it through a couple of times to stop it from curling up when it cooks. Skewer the tentacles on the end. Lightly oil and season and cook for about two minutes each side in the hot griddle pan. It helps to weigh down the calamari a little to get better contact with the pan. You can do this with a heavy pan or pot. Alternately, just cook on the grill of a barbecue for about two minutes each side.

4. Shred the cooked calamari into thick strips, squeeze over the lemon and toss.

5. For the dressing, mix the sherry vinegar, 60 millilitres of olive oil and the paprika together.

6. Arrange the calamari on your plates, top with the palm hearts, chorizo, fried chickpeas and dill, spoon over the dressing and serve.

Fino sherry or a snappy Spanish white like albarino or godello.