Grilled Calamari with Tomato and White Bean Salad
Make the most of summer’s fresh tomatoes by serving them like this, spread across greens in bright red slices, accented by seasoned white beans. Marinated grilled calamari is added at the last minute.
- Dry white beans - 1 1/4 cup (small, pea, navy, cannelloni, lima, etc.)
- Salt pork - 1-inch cube, or 1/2 strip bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil - 1/2 cup
- Red Wine Vinegar - 1/4 cup
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Bay Leaves - 4, crumbled
- Garlic Cloves - 4, finely chopped
- Fresh Parsley - 1 tablespoon, chopped
- Fresh Oregano - 1 teaspoon, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper - 1 teaspoon
- Red Chilies - 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, crushed
- Calamari (squid) - 12 medium, bodies and tentacle pieces (about 1-1/2 pounds)
- Arugula or other salad greens - 8 ounces
- Ripe Tomatoes - 4, sliced, about 5 ounces each
- Olive Oil - 2/3 cup
- Red Wine Vinegar - 1/3 cup
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- White Beans - approximately 1 cup, cooked (above)
- Red Onion - 1 small, very thinly sliced
- Fresh Basil Leaves - 1/3 cup, chopped
To prepare the beans: Place the beans in a saucepan and cover with cool water. Let soak 6 to 12 hours. Rinse well, then cover with water again. Pick out any discolored or broken beans. Add the salt pork or bacon and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and simmer about 45 to 50 minutes; cooking time will vary depending on the type of beans you use. Test by scooping out a few beans with a slotted spoon and gently blowing on them; if the skins start to split, they are done. Drain in a colander under running cold water to stop the cooking. Remove the salt pork or bacon pieces. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
To prepare the marinade: Combine the ingredients in a non-aluminum bowl; mix well. Use half to marinate the calamari, and half to mix with the cooked calamari before serving.
To prepare the calamari: Check the bodies making sure the cartiledge is removed. Place the bodies flat on a cutting board and make vertical cuts about 3/4 of the way to the top every 1/3-inch along the entire length of the body (this accordian cut will create a ring that is attached at the top). Place the calamari pieces in a non-aluminum bowl and add half of the marinade. Toss well and marinate for at least one hour, or overnight.
Salt the calamari. Light a charcoal fire or the gas grill. When hot, put the cooking grate in place and let heat briefly. Place the calamari on the grill, taking care that the tentacles do not fall through the grate. Grill 5 minutes, turning it after it puffs and completing the 5 minutes on the other side. Do not overcook. The bodies will cook faster than the tentacles; place them on the coolest parts of the grill. Remove; set aside.
To serve: Wash and drain the arugula. Pat dry. Arrange on a large platter. Arrange tomato slices in a circular design over the greens. Combine the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper; mix well. Add the beans, onions, and basil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the mixture over the tomatoes.
Toss the calamari with the remaining marinade and place in the center of the salad platter.