Grilled Calamari, Shrimp And Arugula Salad is based on dish you will find at many restaurants all along the Mediterranean coastline of Italy and France. During our travels to this region, my husband and I try to order fresh seafood as often as we can. It is often simply brushed with fruity olive oil, sprinkled with a little sea salt, seasoned with herbs and grilled. Hot off the grill, it gets a spritz of lemon and then brought to the table.
One of our most memorable lunches in this area was at the well known Ristorante Puny located right on the small harbor of Portofino, Italy. The restaurant prepares Ligurian seafood specialties, one of which is a starter of calamari and shrimp, simply dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. That first course was the inspiration for my seafood salad.
It is a quick and easy dish to prepare and doesn’t require much time in the kitchen. When I say easy, I mean letting your fish monger or seafood store do most of the work for you. I always buy heads off, deveined, easy peel shrimp. More importantly when purchasing calamari, I buy already cleaned small bodies about 3 or 4 inches long. The seafood may cost a little more that way but I believe it is worth every penny. A quick rinse under cold water and dried, they are then ready to be cooked.
Grilled Calamari, Shrimp, And Arugula Salad
Serves 2, adjust the recipe accordingly
- 2 – 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano or 1/4 tsp. dried
- 2 Tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
- cleaned calamari bodies about 3 – 4 inches long (2 to 3 per person)
- peeled and deveined shrimp, (2 to 3 per person), depending on size
- 7 – 8 oz. arugula or greens of your choice
- a light dressing of 3 Tbsp. of olive, 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste
- chopped parsley, for garnish
- lemon wedges
Combine the calamari, shrimp, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, herbs and seasonings in a bowl. Cover and let marinate for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove the seafood from the marinade and drain off excess.
Heat the grill, ridged stove top grill pan or broiler until very hot. Grill the shrimp for about a minute on each side until they turn pink. Remove and place in a bowl. Grill the calamari for a minute or two on each side until they get grill marks (be careful not to overcook or they will be rubbery). Remove to a cutting board and slice into small rings and place in the bowl with the shrimp. Drizzle with a little of the dressing and toss. Add the arugula to a bowl and drizzle with the rest of the dressing. Divide the salad between two plates and spoon the seafood on top. Garnish with some chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
The peppery flavor of arugula goes very well with the subtle flavors of the grilled seafood. This salad, enjoyed with some good bread to soak up the juices, makes a wonderful first course or a light lunch. All that is needed is a glass of chilled white wine, such as Pinot Grigio, and you will be foodie heaven.
If you prepare this seafood salad, pretend that you are sitting under the green awning of the landmark Ristorante Puny watching the large yachts maneuver their way between the small fishing boats into the tiny harbor of the picturesque Italian Riviera town of Portofino, Italy.