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.

About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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153 Responses to Grilled Calamari, Shrimp And Arugula Salad

  1. Lovely recipe and memories, Karen, and some of my favourite things to eat. I love the simplicity of this kind of recipe with best ingredients.

  2. Cultivate Wellness says:

    I need this!!!

  3. Karen, your salad looks divine , it brings back memories of my visits to Italy. Thank you!

    • Karen says:

      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!

  4. lifeincharente says:

    Mmmmm my mouth is watering. Nothing beats a good seafood dish. Hope you are well Diane

    • Karen says:

      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.

  5. How great it is, to recreate dishes from places we’ve traveled to. Not only the food is delicious, it brings all these lovely memories as well. 🙂

  6. Pam says:

    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!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  7. Mad Dog says:

    That looks delicious 🙂

  8. Invite me to dinner at your house any time ! 🙂

  9. Gorgeous salad – just the way we love to eat! Have never been to Portofino….one day hopefully 🙂

    • Karen says:

      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

  10. That looks lovely. One of my all-time favourite dishes is Calamari a la Romana, coated in egg, flour and deep fried

  11. Ingrid says:

    Sounds delicious. I’m trying to come up with new meal ideas and this one might just be perfect.

  12. Look amazing and delicious Karen :)))

  13. Both dishes look beautiful and delicious. You should be able to find abundant seafood in your new digs.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  14. 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.

    • Karen says:

      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. 🙂

  15. Love seeing all the warm weather food from you! The colors and flavors of that salad are fantastic.

  16. Angie@Angie's Recipes says:

    Beautiful photos of Italy! The salad looks excellent.

  17. cheri says:

    Hi Karen, I had a salad somewhat similar to this in Newport Oregon. Which I deemed the best meal of summer. Now I can make this myself.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  18. Zirkie says:

    What a delightful post! I am sitting there, even without the salad, imagining the yachts! The salad sounds divine!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  19. A_Boleyn says:

    Looks like a great dish to enjoy during the hot summer months. It’s fall going into winter here so hot and hearty dishes are on the menu. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      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. 😀

      • A_Boleyn says:

        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. 🙂

      • Karen says:

        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. 🙂

  20. Monique says:

    My daughter would adore you:)

    Calamari and she♥
    Will you be going abroad soon?

    Hope the settling in is coming along.

    • Karen says:

      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. 🙂

  21. 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!

  22. Conor Bofin says:

    Lovely, lovely stuff Karen. Such delicious food and excellent Italian scenes.
    I hope all is good with you.

  23. 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!

  24. fuzziepotato says:

    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.)

    • Karen says:

      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.

  25. This looks so bright and delicious! Apart from the odd fillet of salmon, I never cook seafood at home, but this is certainly something I’d like to order in a restaurant!

  26. Gorgeous salad, lovely photos too! Perfect timing, as the weather is warming up downunder! xx

    • Karen says:

      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. 🙂

  27. 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.

    • Karen says:

      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. 🙂

  28. Madonna says:

    I had to pin this. I love calamari if it is cooked correctly. We had huge pics in our office that look like yours.

  29. Juliana says:

    Great pictures Karen…and the seafood salad looks so good…I would love to dig into it…yum!
    Have a lovely week ahead 🙂

  30. I love seafood and buying it prefilleted or prepared means that it is so quick in the kitchen. I’ve never been to Portofino but I would love to one day! I’m sure that goes without saying for most people 😀

    • Karen says:

      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.

  31. Jane says:

    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

    • Karen says:

      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.

  32. It is our plan to be in Portofino next year, but until then I will make this salad to enjoy 🙂

    • Karen says:

      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.

  33. Mediterranean countries eat a lot of calamari. I love it too especially nearby the sea. This salad is exactly my type of meal!

  34. What beautiful memory food. I bet you can feel the soft breezes on your face with every bite.

  35. aFrankAngle says:

    Looks tasty … and gotta love Portofino!

  36. 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).

    • Karen says:

      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. 🙂

  37. Norma Chang says:

    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.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  38. chef mimi says:

    aaaaahhhhhhh, what a beautiful sight! I just back from France, and I had as much squid and octopus that I could get my hands on. I’m missing them…

    • Karen says:

      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.

  39. I’m a big fan of shrimp recipes! The simple and flavorful pairing with calamari makes for a wonderful salad. Food memories are the best, as the smells and flavors make for such rich dialogue!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  40. Liz Berg says:

    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 🙂

    • Karen says:

      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.

  41. mjskit says:

    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!

  42. hotlyspiced says:

    And now I want to go to Portofino! What a pretty part of the world and I have heard the food is excellent. What a great dish to bring back with you xx

  43. It looks and sounds wonderful! I will take your advice and close my eyes pretending I am at the original place – when I make this salad. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      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. 😀

  44. Lea Ann says:

    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.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  45. What an exquisite salad — heavenly for seafood lovers!
    What gorgeous pictures, Karen! Italy has always been in my travel list. Now I know that I have to visit Portofino there.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  46. 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!

    • Karen says:

      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!

  47. David says:

    Makes me want to make this and watch Enchanted April tonight. Looks perfect, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      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. 😦

  48. Sophie33 says:

    A lovely tasty looking salad & in here I can use the last of the home grown arugula leaves! Yummm!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  49. 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

  50. Beautiful post, with travel foods and photos. I love the marinade! 🙂

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  53. Yum! Ready to pack my bags and head to Portofino!

  54. Debra says:

    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. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      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. 🙂

  55. Beth says:

    Your salad looks great. And your photos of Italy make me long to be there!

  56. 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,

    • Karen says:

      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.

  57. Nothing can be better than eating this salad in Portofino but your recreation sounds delicious! I love the simplicity and all the fresh herbs. I know we’d love it!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  58. Kristy says:

    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!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  59. Karen this recipe has all my favorites so I can’t wait to try it! I need this reminder of Italy….

  60. What a lovely salad and you can be sure when I make it I will relieve the memories of our trip there… We saw a lot of Italy on a 2 week driving trip!

  61. Karen says:

    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.

  62. Monica says:

    Yes, definitely the kind of dish I’d order from an Italian restaurant. Would love to make this…looks perfect.

  63. Ah, Italy. My favorite! What an easy and light dish. It brings back memories of the impeccable seafood we had in Italy.

  64. Karen says:

    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.

  65. 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.

    • Karen says:

      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. 🙂

  66. 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.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  67. Eva Taylor says:

    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.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  68. Lovely photos…felt like eating the salad straight out of the photo!! Happy to come across your’s really nice 😊👍🏼

  69. 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.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  70. ZazaCook says:

    What a lovely recipe! I love shrimp and calamari! Looks so delicious! I am going to save your recipe and make it soon!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  71. Sissi says:

    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.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  72. marrific says:

    wow! the salad looks GORGEOUS! love the pictures!

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

  73. Karen says:

    Hi Marcela, I appreciate your lovely compliment. Thank you so much. Your new site looks terrific, by the way.

  74. 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. 🙂

  75. Chef Devaux says:

    Wow, what a beautiful pictures. This kind of food the calamari, shrimp etc. is one of my favorites. thanks for sharing this recipe.

  76. Oh my goodness! My mouth is watering because this looks amazing! I love, love, love seafood. Must try it soon 🙂

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