Grilled Calamari, Shrimp And Arugula Salad

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.

Seafood Salad On A Bed Of Arugula
Grilled Calamari, Shrimp And Arugula Salad

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.

Seafood Salad At A Portofino Restaurant
Seafood Salad At The Famous Puny Restaurant In Portofino, Italy

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.

Sit Under The Green Awning At Puny Restaurant In Portofino, Italy
Sit Under The Green Awning At Puny Restaurant In Portofino, Italy And Enjoy The Harbor Sights
Portofino Harbor
Fishing Boats And Yachts In The Portofino Harbor On The Ligurian Coast Of Italy

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.

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

153 thoughts on “Grilled Calamari, Shrimp And Arugula Salad

    1. Hi Kay, Yes I will always remember the meal we had at Puny. I was reluctant to share the recipe as it is so very simple but that is also what makes it so good. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Gerlinde, I’m happy to know that this recipe brought back nice memories. Good food has a way of doing that, don’t you think. I appreciate your nice compliment, thank you!

    1. Hi Diane, I’m glad you like the salad. I do know that your area of France has wonderful seafood. I’m doing very well, thank you so much for asking.

    1. Hi Ronit, It really is fun trying to recreate the dishes we have while traveling. This one was easy as the ingredients were readily available.

  1. It looks delicious and my family would love it, just because of the calamari. The first Portifino photo is gorgeous. We traveled all around Europe a couple of times and made it to the border of Italy many times, and turned around; how I wish we had traveled around it then! Sounds like you have awesome memories of it!

    1. Thank you Pam, I’m glad you like the recipe. Your family is like mine, everyone loves calamari. Perhaps someday you will get a chance to go back and visit Italy.

    1. Thank you Tanya, I’m glad you like the salad. You are right, it does remind me of some of the meals you have prepared. I know you and Big Man would enjoy Portofino

    1. Thank you for the compliment, Darryl. You would think that with a state surrounded by so much water that seafood markets and restaurants would be everywhere but unfortunately that isn’t the case. Seafood is more expensive here and not as big of a variety as we had in New Hampshire.

  2. I love this sort of dish! Really one of the best ways to serve seafood — very simple, and the flavors really shine. I used to clean my own calamari, but no more. I’m with you: it’s so worth buying it ready to go. Wonderful dish — thanks so much.

    1. Hi John, You are right, sometimes people over compliment seafood dishes and their mild flavors can be lost. I don’t mind cleaning shrimp if I must but the calamari…no I buy it all cleaned. 🙂

    1. Hi Cheri, I’m glad that I could help with a recipe similar to what you enjoyed in Newport…I hope you will like it. Thank you for your nice comment.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and photos, Zirkie. Portofino was delightful, and this salad reminds me of our visit there. I appreciate your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Boleyn, I can certainly appreciate your comment knowing that the weather has turned cold there…it’s been in the mid 80’s here in Vero Beach. I’m one of those people that can eat salads when it is cold and chili and soups in the summer. 😀

      1. I DO eat soup year round and cold noodle salads in the winter but can only ‘grill’ on the bbq so those squid would have to be done under the broiler cause the winter’s pretty cold in Ontario and I don’t want to have to shovel and brush the snow off the bbq. 🙂

      2. It sounds like we are just alike…and I agree about not grilling when it is cold let alone when there is snow on the ground. 🙂

    1. Hi Monique, I’m happy that you think your daughter would enjoy the recipe. Thank you for asking about getting settled in our new house. Yes, the boxes are getting unpacked, paintings are getting hung and we are searching out little treasures to make it feel like home. 🙂

  3. I have never been to Italy, so this would be a good substitute for pretending I am there. I bet you are enjoying being able to eat fresh seafood in sunny, hot weather this time of year in your new locale!

    1. Hi Kathryn, Perhaps one day you will get a chance to visit. Saturday we sat outside at a restaurant on the beach and I had Maine lobster salad of all things. 😀

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Conor…I’m happy you enjoyed the post. Yes, life is good now that we are getting settled in our new home.

  4. Lovely fresh seafood salad recipe! This is a dish you would also find at restaurants here on the coast of Monterey, CA. You’ve inspired me to make this myself! I had no idea how simple this could be. Thank you!

  5. Looks so delicious and wonderfully simple! Do you have any recommendations on excellent olive oil to buy in the US? (I find frustratingly so, that when in Italy or Spain–the olive oils are unto themselves make a dish, with their strong banana-like or peppery flavors–but back in the states I’ve tried several ones from Sur La Table or even specialty olive oil stores, and their flavor profile tends to pale in comparison.)

    1. Hi Fuzzie, It is so nice to hear from you. I’m glad you like the seafood salad. As to olive oils, I use California Olive Ranch extra virgin for everything unless I’m frying, then I use peanut oil. I used to use Laudemio from Italy to finish a dish with a drizzle before going to the table but it was hard for me to find in New Hampshire. For several years, we had oil sent to us from a small producer in Tuscany that we had visited. The oils vary from year to year with each harvest, so the tastes may vary.

    1. I appreciate your nice compliment, Liz. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. I’m happy that my timing was good for my friends in the southern hemisphere. 🙂

  6. Portofino is one of my favorite cities, I would like to go again and spend a bit more time. Thanks for the great salad suggestion, I’m going to get that on the menu for this weekend; I can get pretty much any seafood fresh here locally in Seattle so this should be amazing.

    1. Hi Charlie, I’m with you about wanting to spend more time in Portofino. You really are lucky to live in Seattle with so much fresh seafood. I felt the same way about New England…the seafood was amazing. I hope you will enjoy the salad as much as my husband and I did. 🙂

    1. Hi Lorraine, Yes buying seafood that has been cleaned makes cooking a breeze. Portofino is a very picturesque little town…I do hope you get to visit it some day.

  7. Oh…you did it again, Karen! My mouth is watering. We love calimari and I’m always looking for new ways to prepare seafood. Thank you!

    Hope all is going well with the move.

    Jane x

    1. Hi Jane, I’m happy that you like the seafood salad recipe…it is super easy to prepare. We are getting settled in nicely, now its on to decorating each room. Thank you for your nice compliment and wish.

    1. Hi Tandy, I know you will enjoy Portofino, it is such a picturesque little spot on the Italian Riviera. I hope you like the salad as much as we did.

    1. Hi Katerina, You are so right, it seems to be a very popular item. I’m glad you like the salad and appreciate your nice comment…thank you.

  8. The Italian Riviera looks beautiful. It’s a shame I went from Nice to Turin, rather than along the coast. Ah, another time. And I’m still nervous of cooking seafood. Probably because I don’t want to overcook it. Anyway, your salad sounds delicious – love both calamari and prawns (as we call them).

    1. I’m sorry that you didn’t get a chance to visit the Italian Riviera…perhaps another time, Johnny. I find seafood so easy to cook but you are right, you definitely done want to overcook it or it will either be dry or rubbery. Thank you for your nice compliment. 🙂

  9. Beautiful photos of Portofino, Italy. This is my kind of dish, simple and easy yet out of this world delicious, wish I could get really fresh seafood where I am.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Norma. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos and recipe. With good transportation in our country, I don’t know why we all can’t get good, fresh seafood. Restaurants can get it…you would think the general public should be able to as well.

    1. Thank you Mimi, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. You sound like my husband and I, we eat as much fresh seafood as we can get when traveling in Europe…it is done simply with such great taste.

    1. Exactly, Deb. Food memories, whether a simple dish our mother used to cooked or a Michelin starred meal in a famous restaurant, are special. I’m glad you like the recipe, thank you.

  10. I must go back to Italy and France so I can experience this wonderful salad where it originated! But till then, I’m so glad you shared the recipe—I’ll close my eyes and dream I’m on the Mediterranean while I’m savoring every bite 🙂

    1. I’m happy you like the recipe, Liz. Yes please do try it and then hopefully you’ll get a chance to experience the dish in Portofino at Restaurant Puny. Thank you for your nice comment.

  11. This salad does put you on a waterfront deck in Italy. I’ve never had grilled calamari but since I haven’t had a calamari preparation that I didn’t like, I’m sure I would enjoy it. Great salad Karen!

    1. Please do Kelli, that is the fun of eating a dish like this. We can all pretend we are sitting at a table next to a famous star and getting to enjoy the same meal. 😀

  12. Ok, I’ll pretend I’m watching yachts in the Portifino harbour … but this also seems very “Florida”. Looks delicious and I hope you’re getting settled.

    1. Hi Lea Ann, Absolutely a dish to enjoy here in Florida where the weather and scenery makes me think I’m on holiday. Thank you for your compliment and wish…yes, each day it is starting to feel more like home.

    1. Thank you Denise, for your kind words…I appreciate your nice compliment. I do hope you will get a chance to visit Porotfino some day, it will not disappoint.

  13. Such a beautiful post, Karen! All this delicious, healthy freshness has me planning a shrimp salad for dinner tonight.
    I have traveled quite a bit but Italy remains the special spot that I long to visit. I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t leave! Thanks for a peek at perfection 🙂
    I’d love to feature you and this recipe on next week’s Tuesday Tidbits with your permission.
    I love when you stop by, you’re always so bright and cheery!

    1. Thank you Robyn, for your visit and lovely compliment. I hope you get a chance to visit Italy…the history, the beauty, the people, the food, all memorable. I appreciate your thinking of this recipe to include on your blog, that is very kind of you!

    1. Hi David, I’m glad you like the seafood salad. I have a photo of the castle on the hilltop above Portofino that was used as a set in the movie but I can’t get it to link up. 😦

    1. Thank you for your compliment, Sophie. Arugula from your garden will be perfect. I know you have enjoyed that lovely garden all during the growing season.

  14. What are delicious looking salad! Plus your travel pics are amazing! So jealous… oh well at least I can enjoy the scampi salad and dream about Europe!
    Thanks for sharing
    Gourmet Getaways

    1. Thank you Fae, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. I like to use that marinade for chicken that I’m going to put on the grill as well.

  15. What gorgeous scenery! I have fellow co-workers who go to Italy any time they get enough funds together to get there. This salad is wonderful and so fresh looking! I’ve pinned it for the weekend.

  16. Wonderful photos, Karen. You took me down memory lane. I visited Portofino years ago on my first trip to Italy and I remember how delicious the seafood was. I would love to have a big plate of that beautiful salad for lunch today.

    1. I’m glad you like enjoyed the photos, Cathy and that they reminded you of your trip to Portofino. You have such great fresh seafood in your area…this would be a good way to use some of it.

  17. How delightful to have those photos and such wonderful memories of a beautiful region. My husband would love this salad. I’m not too fond of squid, but he would enjoy it very much. And I might enjoy it more if I were on the Italian Riviera. 🙂

    1. Hi Debra, The Italian Riviera really is a beautiful region. it was fun to look back to a previous trip and create one of the dishes we enjoyed. Perhaps you could make a salad heavy on shrimp with just a little calamari to keep your husband happy. 🙂

  18. Dear Karen, your salad certainly evokes lovely memories of dining in Italy – one absolutely fabulous way to enjoy seafood – in fact, the best!
    Hope that you have settled in your new home nicely and that all is well!
    “Liebe Gruesse” (greetings) from afar,

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment and wish, Andrea. Yes, we are getting settled into our new home…just trying to put the finishing details in each room.

    1. I have to agree with you Susan, sitting outside in Portofino is the perfect way to enjoy this salad. When we can’t, the kitchen table isn’t too bad. 🙂 I’m glad you like the recipe, thank you.

  19. I cannot wait to get to Italy!!! Your pictures are stunning! This salad would be a hit all around with us. The kids LOVE calamari! Delicious!

    1. Hi Kristy, I’m glad you like the salad…thanks. You will be in Europe before you know it the four of you will get to have lots of delicious seafood.

  20. Thank you for your compliment, Judi. Driving through Italy is always a great experience. I’m glad this recipe brought back memories of your time there.

  21. Hi Judy, Italy is a country that is dear to the heart of many. I’m happy that you like the dish and that it brings back memories from your travels. Thank you as always for your compliment.

  22. What a lovely meal and in such a beautiful setting – yes, I can pretend that I’m sitting there looking at the boats. I have made shrimp a million times but have to admit that I have never done anything with calamari. I’ve eaten it at restaurants in the North End and loved it but frankly, I don’t think I would even know what I was looking at to buy it at the market. I’m betting our Wegmans could steer me in the right direction with this.

    1. I’m happy to know you like the meal, Diane. I’ve heard good things about Wegmans…I’m sure they have cleaned calamari and have it divided into both bodies and legs. 🙂

  23. That is what is so wonderful about travel. You learn a little something new with each country you visit and live in and it makes for some really delicious dinner ideas. Love how healthy and simple this recipe is.

    1. So very true, Bobbie…travel is wonderful for so many reasons. The salad really is a simple preparation and as you say, a healthy dish. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  24. Your posts always make me long for Europe, Karen. This seafood dish is exactly my taste, simple yet so satisfying and delicious. I love that the restaurant prepared it with Fennel, I adore fennel with seafood, a perfect pairing in my opinion! Your salad looks like the perfect lunch.

    1. Guess what Eva, they make me long for Europe as well. Hopefully we will be heading there in the coming year. I’m happy to know that you like the seafood salad, thank you.

  25. Just lovely!!! I was just telling friends that there is no better seafood preparation than in Italy. Simple, straightforward, pure and delightful. I do so hope we go this Spring. We held off last year because of the all the terroristic threats and activity…….but they cannot rule us.

    1. Thank you Tin Man. I do agree with you about the simple seafood preparations that the Italians do so well. Hopefully, we will be going back next year as well.

    1. Thank you Zaza for your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you will be trying the recipe, I hope you will enjoy the dish. I appreciate your visit and comment.

  26. Thank you so much for bringing as a bit of summer sun rays. The dishes look fantastic (I love squid and cook it -only for myself- practically every week) and make me forget we’re unfortunately heading for the cold winter days.

    1. Hi Sissi, I’m happy to have been able to share some sunny and warm thoughts through this post. I’ve not experience any cool days here in Florida as yet, wish we could exchange our weather for a day. I’m happy that you like the salad, thanks.

  27. wow! the salad looks GORGEOUS! love the pictures!

    PS. It’s Marcela from tortadellafiglia I moved to! Hope you’ll like it 🙂

  28. This dish looks amazing… it absolutely speaks to the idea that when you have high quality ingredients, you don’t need to do much in order for them to shine. We often have shrimp, calamari, scallops, etc. Next time, I’ll treat them to your recipe, pour a glass of crisp white wine, close my eyes and be transported to the Italian Rivera. It will be a most welcome “escape” in the middle of a New England winter. 🙂

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