Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Grilled squid and kohlrabi salad with lemon-garlic vinaigrette

Man, it's just been too nice out! How could anyone sit in front of the computer when there's a vegetable garden to water, or a praying mantis egg sac to check for hatchlings, or white wine hangovers to nurse? Can't beat Portland in the summer.

Scott had to attend a work-dinner thing with the uppity-up-mucky-muck of his company this evening (business cazh in 90+ heat, poor guy), so I had my sweet friend from small times, Jason, over for dinner. Jason and I used to cook and eat together once in awhile a looooong time (when I was still vegetarian), when I was really into perfecting tuna casseroles and tweaking a pack of ramen. I've come some ways since then, and so has he.

I had some squids thawed in the fridge and was craving sunshiny Mediterranean flavors. I really needed to eat some of the kohlrabi in the garden, had some lemons and a bag of mixed greens. I'd been tossing ideas around all day (I also have an ungodly amount of Nero di Toscano kale and collards, both of which are the size of a 3rd-grader), but settled on a nice salad at the last minute. The "last minute" was determined by coming home to the chagrin of open windows on a really hot day.

I rinsed the squids (pre-cleaned, thank goodness) and dressed them in lots of chopped garlic, the juice and zest of one lemon, a coupla tbsp chopped fresh marjoram, an ample drizzle of good olive oil and some S&P. I cut a kohlrabi into matchsticks and added them to the marinade, which was by now turning my squid into ceviche. A little sliced red onion was the last touch.

Hot grill pan to get some marks on the vedge, then remove to a separate bowl and hit the squid to the heat. It was too wet (and already cooked in the acid of the marinade) to get any char, but it only took a second to heat it through. I added the cooked squids to the grilled kohlrabi-onion and reduced the dressing with a hit of leftover cheap chardonnay (thanks for the hangover, Bear's Lair!) to soften the garlic.

Cool for a minute or so to tepid, then top a plate of mixed baby greens with warm handfuls of the squid-kohlrabi-onion mixture, top with a drizzle of the warm vinaigrette. Serve with sliced baguette (copiously buttered with good Dutch butter) and my ubiquitous heirloom tomato salad. After we devoured our squid salads, we lazily pecked at open-faced sandwiches made from the salt-and-peppered tomato and cultured butter on that wonderful, soft sourdough (still bakery-cozy). Commence eye-roll and toe-curl.

29 comments:

Manggy said...

Hmm, eye-roll and toe-curl, what a visual, lol :) Squid is just the perfect thing if you want something cooked without spending too much time in front of the heat source. I've never seen a kohlrabi before, though!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Grilled squid does it for me every time. Preferably with a bit of char, but I'll take it any which way.

That's squid I'm talking about.

Peter M said...

We gots good weather here now - for good...patio dayze and lots of experimentation with sangria recipes.

I too prefer squid grilled but on the grill...you be able to stick to your "stay outdoors" regimen.

Peter G said...

Squid or calamari? That the question. Whatever you call it you've done it great justice Heather. I love how the acidity of the lemon reacts and starts cooking it immediately...it seems you're enjoying the summer!

Dhanggit said...

oh my goodness my hubby will definitely enjoy this! he loves squid!! thanks for sharing the recipe!

Foodycat said...

Summer-y and delicious! Pity squid isn't as easy to get here as it is in Oz.

Brittany said...

Let me uncurl my toes to think where the heck I could get squid in my parts...and how I could talk my kids into eating it...maybe if I tape little guns to the sides of each squid, like little squid tranformers?

Syd said...

**hand over mouth** It's too early for this.

You eat all the bait you want. I just can't do it.

peter said...

...they're molluscs in disguise!

Is there anything more summer than squid salad? And nice work getting your toe-curl on while the husband is away.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Okay... Heather, you are the undisputed master of combinations - seriously. Since I'm not into kohlrabi or squid, I'd probably have to let this one be. My mom would love it, though.

Heather said...

Mark - A kohlrabi is a wonderful thing! It is like a giant, mild radish crossed with a rutabega.

Sketti - The char really makes it, it's true. Will you take it loose, or any which way but loose?

Mr. the Greek - I really need to get a little hibachi instead of just the huge grill (seriously, you could fit a kid in that thing), so I can do little two-person grill sessions.

Petah - I call it "squids". Or "cephalopods". Mmm...delicious cephalopods....

Dhanggit - Glad to provide a hubby-loving recipe! Squid is great for summer. :)

Foodycat - I read that squid used to be considered a pest in Oz. Pity Britain doesn't have that problem!

Brittany - If your kids play Super Mario Brothers, you can tell them the squid is Blooper.

Syd - Well I'll just give you some squids and you can go catch me a tuna or sommat. :P

Jube - Swarthy homosexuals are good for a surrogate toe-curl.

Jen - Is that a polite way of saying my food is cRaZy? :D

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

What a perfect dish for summer. Grilled squid (how else?) and the lemon and garlic, two of my favourite things. Kohlrabi: have to try that vegetable real soon.

glamah16 said...

I would love a plate of this.I wouldn't miss meat with these flavors.I want your garden. What sre you going to do with all those collards?

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Looks perfect! Char or not, I'll take squid any way, any time. Great idea for a summer salad!

We Are Never Full said...

YUM. this is almost close to what I made on christmas eve for my 7 fishes. no kohlrabi, though. so healthy and light.

i totally hear you about the blogging thing now that it's summer. it's really a drag and i'm noticing it's becoming more of a chore than something i really, really want to do like when the weather is cold and shitty.

Nikki Miller-Ka said...

I'm a crazy-picky-OMG-people-really-eat-that kind of eater at times and squid is sometimes on that list. I've never had it grilled, but I definitely prefer it stuffed with crabmeat and deep fried. With your kohlrabi and lemon-garlic vin, my toes would definitely curl.

cookiecrumb said...

GROAN! (tummy growl)
Oh, shit. Should I be growing kohlrabi?

maybelles parents said...

THat sounds perfect. oh I adore kohlrabi.

Sarah said...

Oh beautiful! This salad contains several of my favorite summer flavors! I first used kohlrabi last summer (I'd never seen it before), and love the taste. I'll have to give this a try!

Zen Chef said...

You were a vegetarian once? What the heck happened??? You went from vegetarian to having pig feasts in the backyard..? I wanna hear THAT story! hehe

Dinner looks awesome as always. You rock!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

I have some squid, I just found a recipe....so what's stopping me from having a delicious lunch salad. Thx for sharing!!!

MrOrph said...

I've never had kohlrabi, or at least, not to my knowledge. I'll have to try some. We've been making a lot of salads of late.

Charred squid in a salad sounds, and looks, like a winner!

Emiline said...

What a nice dinner to share with a friend.

I want to see some pictures from your garden. Maybe someday if you're up to it. Since you have magical plant skills.

I'll avoid Bear's Lair.

kittie said...

toes curling, eyes rolling...

The salad sounds fab. You make me want to grow more stuff in the wilderness that is my garden...

And tomato sandwiches with really good tomatoes and really good bread are one of my all time favourite summer sarnies...

Heather said...

JS - Kohlrabi is the next big thing, I'm telling you!

Court - I guess I'm going to have to blanch the collards and freeze them if I want to eat them before they bolt and go bitter!
Susan - I get weird cravings for squid and octopus sometimes, and I tend to just roll with them.

Amy - I'm glad I'm not the only one. I have to make myself sit down to it once a week now. :\

Nikki - I love fried calamari too, but hat frying at home. My glassware (and skin) gets coated in an oily mist. :(

Cookie - Yes, yes you should. It's a 60 day crop! Get some going in August. Then some more in March.

Maybelle's Parents - Isn't kohlrabi dreamy? It really is going to be the next big thing.

Sarah - Kohlrabi is great warm, raw or mashed. So versatile!

Zen - I will tell the story of my ill-fated vegetarianism one day.

Nina - Yummy lunch salad! So perfect for summer.

Donald - If you're on a salad kick, why not try a new vegetable? It might rock your world.

Emmy - I'll get some good pics soon. I want to wait until more things are flowering/fruiting, but it's getting really big!

Kittie - Oh god yes - butter-and-tomato sammies are the cat's pajamas.

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Squiddies! I am planning on cookintg some next week. Not so sure about kohlrabi, though. Ech. Reminds me of Germans in Wisconsin...

cook eat FRET said...

i am getting some kohlrabi if it's the last thing i do. i don't want to miss this next big thing... god forbid. i was already 6 months behind on preserved lemons...

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Looks amazing! I'm jealous that you have kohlrabi in your garden.

Maya said...

Brilliant, I've got a load of kohlrabi in the garden and frozen squid in the freezer (NOT pre-cleaned however). You've given tomorrow nights dinner inspiration. Just found your blog and liking it, nice to see another irreverent cook and gardener in the PNW.