Grilled calamari

Grilled calamari
Grilled calamari Photo: Marina Oliphant

Delicious served with the pepperiness of a rocket salad and a squeeze of lemon. If you are lucky enough to see small calamari at the market, buy it, as it will be wonderfully tender and can be cooked whole. Larger calamari will also be tender but the key is to cook it quickly and over a high heat. Scoring the flesh looks attractive and also helps it cook a little faster; however, it is not necessary. Some fishmongers will clean calamari for you or at least show you how. There's really not that much to it, but if you have never cleaned calamari and want to know how, I recommend reading Marcella Hazan's step-by-step description in her book The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.


750g calamari

1-2 tbsp olive oil

1 small red chilli

1 clove garlic, sliced

zest and juice of 1 lemon


extra virgin olive oil to finish


Clean calamari, score the skin if desired and cut into smallish pieces. Place in a bowl and cover with a little olive oil, the chopped chilli, garlic and lemon zest. Marinate for 10 minutes then cook on a hot grill for a minute or two on each side. The cooking time will depend on the size of the calamari.

To serve

Season with salt and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Serve immediately.