This calamari salad with fennel and avocado is inspired by our trip to Cyprus in November. Winter weather back home didn’t exactly encourage me to make it soon, but I’ve had it on my mind and am so glad to finally make and share it. It is so easy to make, fresh and flavorful. Plus while it’s a salad, it’s not the kind that wilts to mush within 5 minutes. Apart from the avocado, and that’s helped along by the tasty citrus dressing, everything in here is pretty robust and so it’s great for taking along to a party, barbecue or whatever excuse you may have. It’s also that bit unusual without being weird, so you don’t have to worry about making the same thing as a neighbor.
If you’re a regular, you may have seen me mention our trip to Cyprus and Greece when I shared my baba ghanoush and youvetsi. Despite it potentially seeming crazy to travel with a toddler and six week old baby, it was on the whole a lovely trip, helped in large part by the gorgeous weather and ease of things in Cyprus in particular. I’ve never been one for all-inclusive style resorts, but I have to say being half board in a very nice hotel with three restaurants, a partner hotel next door you could also use and a decent kids menu (that was free) in the main restaurant, not to mention a small playground on site and the beach out front, I could see the appeal when young kids are involved. Plus it was balanced out for me as we were right in town by a nice waterfront and not far from Roman ruins with amazing mosaics to explore.
The main restaurants in both our and the partner hotel had a buffet each night. Again I’m not usually that big a fan, but this was surprisingly good, especially as they had a number of relatively local dishes most nights. One of the salad bar options one night was a calamari salad similar to this and I knew I had to recreate it at some point at home. It’s got everything a good salad should have to me – tasty, varied ingredients, a flavorful dressing, and it doesn’t feel like you are just eating a bunch of leaves. In fact this salad doesn’t even have any.
How it’s made
This salad is also really easy to make and robust enough it will travel well if you want to take it along with you to a potluck or otherwise make it a little bit ahead. My husband took it to work for lunch the day after I made it and it was still good. The squid/calamari takes all of a minute to cook – quite literally – then you transfer it to iced water to stop it cooking any further. Meanwhile chop up everything else, whisk up the simple lemony dressing and that’s it.
This calamari salad is a lovely mix of crunch from the fennel and pepper, softness from the avocado and with the dressing and parsley adding that extra touch of freshness, all complementing the squid perfectly. It’s filling but in a healthy-feeling way, if you know what I mean. It’s is a real taste of summer and will definitely be on our table again.
- 1lb/450g calamari/squid
- 1 small-medium fennel bulb
- 1 red pepper
- 1 cup/170g cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 large handful fresh parsley
- 2 avocado
- 2tbsp lemon juice
- 1tbsp red wine vinegar
- 4tbsp/ ¼cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½tsp Dijon mustard
- few grinds of salt and pepper
- Clean the squid and pat it dry. Cut the tentacle part in half or quarters lengthwise (and any longer pieces cut into shorter lengths) and slice the main body, including any flaps, into rings around ⅓in/1cm thick.
- Prepare a bowl with iced water then add the squid to a pan of boiling salted water (a 4-5 quart pan, around half full with water and about ½-1tsp salt should be good) and cook for around 40-60 seconds until it goes opaque. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon or strain into a colander then immediate place in the iced water to stop it cooking any more.
- Meanwhile cut the fennel in half then into thin slices, including a little of the green fronds if you like. Slice the red pepper, cutting any larger slices in half, halve the tomatoes and roughly chop the leaves from the parsley. Peel and dice the avocado.
- Place all of the chopped vegetables and squid in a bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, mustard and a few grinds of salt and pepper and pour the dressing over the salad. Carefully toss everything together and leave for a good 15min or so to take on the flavors a little before serving. You can also chill it a good few hours until you are ready to use it.
See all the other dishes being shared at today’s summer potluck-themed Sunday Supper – thanks to TR Crumbley from Gluten Free Crumbley for hosting –
- Calamari salad with fennel and avocado by Caroline’s Cooking
- Coronation Chicken Deviled Eggs by Food Lust People Love
- Creamy Ranch Tortilla Pinwheels with Roasted Red Peppers by Dizzy Busy and Hungry
- Roasted Corn Salsa by Casa de Crews
- Walnut Grapes by Eat, Drink and Be Tracy
- Watermelon Salad with Feta Cheese and Mint by April Golightly
Sides and Salads
- Amish Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad by My World Simplified
- Antipasto Pasta Salad by A Mind “Full” Mom
- Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken by Hardly A Goddess
- Cheddar Bacon Ranch Potato Salad by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Chopped Caprese Salad by Angels Home Sweet Homestead
- Crunchy Coleslaw by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Cumin Scented Quinoa with Black Bean and Corn Salsa by The Hungry Goddess
- Easy Summer Chickpea Salad by She Loves Biscotti
- Elotes by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Frog Eye Salad by Turnips 2 Tangerines
- Gluten Free Grilled Corn Salad by Gluten Free Crumbley
- Layered Salad with Green Goddess Dressing by Delaware Girl Eats
- No Mayo Potato Salad by Simple and Savory
- Roasted Vegetable Couscous Salad by My Life Cookbook
- Spaghetti Salad with Italian Dressing by Kitchen Gidget
- Summer Grain Salad by Pook’s Pantry
- Summer Tortellini Salad by Palatable Pastime
- Tarragon Marinated Brussels Sprouts by Beauty and the Beets
- Steve’s Fried Chicken by Monica’s Table
- Blueberry Ginger Parfaits by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Blueberry Slab Pie by The Chef Next Door
- Caramel Icebox Cake by Cookin’ Mimi
- Caramel “Doughnut” Cake by What Smells So Good?
- Cherry Crumb Bars by The Redhead Baker
- Chocolate Eclair Cake by Tramplingrose: Cooking, Baking & Ranting in Small-Town South Dakota
- Coconut Lime Ice Cream by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Cookie Butter Caramel Swirl Brownies by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Double Chocolate Blondies by Family Around The Table
- Frozen Champagne Salad by Moore or Less Cooking
- How to make a Pineapple Summer Cake by Asian In America
- Lemon Icebox Bars by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Mini Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisps with Coconut by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- No-Bake Summer Berry Cream Cheese Tarts by Magnolia Days
- Peach Dumplings by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Peanut Butter Bars by Confessions of a Cooking Diva
- S’mores Blondies by Alida’s Kitchen
- Strawberry Pretzel Pie by My Imperfect Kitchen
- Summertime S’Mores by The Freshman Cook
- Triple Peanut Butter Cookies by Cooking With Carlee
- White Sheet Cake by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Whole Wheat Strawberry Galette by The Bitter Side of Sweet
Plus Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake and Best Potluck Dishes from Sunday Supper Movement
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