Calamari and Cauliflower Rice Summer Salad

I love seafood. It is always I thing I lean to in restaurants and good fish dishes are always the ones I am most excited about cooking and experimenting with. I find it easy to work with, its fast to cook, perfect for one person meals and just delicious when you get it just right.

Calamari and Cauliflower Rice Summer Salad Squid is one of the more sustainable of seafood species and in my option one of the most delicious. The key to a successful result lies in getting the freshest you possibly can – a fishmonger, or from the fish counter is ideal – and not over cooking it. Simply toss it in a bowl with a pinch of pepper, olive oil, lemon zest and salt (maybe some chilli flakes, if you fancy it) before whacking it into a hot pan for a couple of minutes. Thats it.

For this recipe I was short of time and made use of Sainsbury’s handy blended cauliflower rice, instead of making my own, but you could just as easily do it yourself, following the instructions below.

I also have a wonderful veggie option of a Super Green Cauliflower Cous Cous in my cookbook too.

Calamari and Cauliflower Rice Summer Salad

Calamari and Cauliflower Rice Summer Salad Recipe

This recipe can be served both warm and cold, however you like it. I find it makes great leftovers, perfect for a healthy lunch salad. If you can’t find fresh calamari it is sill worth giving it a go… I have been known to use Sainsbury’s deli ingredients – stuffed baby peppers, sundried tomatoes and feta and also marinated prawns – as alternatives. All with absolutely great results too.

Serves 2

  • 150g fresh calamari rings
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and good grinding of black pepper
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/3 large cauliflower, or 200g sainsbury’s cauliflower cous cous
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley (or coriander), roughly chopped
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 avocado, cut in cubes
  • 8 olives, chopped roughly

Pesto Yoghurt 

This is an optional addition I plonked over the finished dish (after the photo) It is simply made with just two ingredients, mixed together but it did wonders for the final result, adding extra flavour and creaminess.

  • 1 tablespoon pesto, use whichever variety you like
  • 1 tablespoon plain probiotic yoghurt

Calamari and Cauliflower Rice Summer Salad

Method

Throughly dry the calamari on kitchen paper and then add to a large bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, the lemon zest, chilli, 1 of the grated garlic cloves, a pinch of salt and a generous grinding of black pepper.

Toss the calamari in the bowl, to coat evenly and set aside.

Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower, cut it into quarters and remove most of the thick core, then cut each quarter into two or three chunks. Place the small cauliflower florets in the blender and blitz until they take on the texture of rice, this will take about 30 seconds approximately.

Heat a non stick frying pan over a high heat. Add the calamari and its dressing. Cook for two minutes, tossing it in the pan, until it turns opaque and develops a light crispness on the edges. Be careful not to overcook, no more then two minutes. Once cooked, set aside on a plate and return the pan to the heat..

Add the remaining two grated garlic cloves to a frying pan with two tablespoons of olive oil. Fry for a minute, to infuse the oil, before adding the cauliflower rice. Toss in the pan to heat through for 30 seconds to a minute and then add the herbs, spring onions, tomatoes, olives, avocado and 3/4 of the squid. Season with salt and pepper and squeeze over a generous amount of lime juice, whilst gently tossing the mixture together in the pan. Be careful not to overwork it.

Divide the mixture between two plates, top with the remaining calamari and finish with a drizzle of olive oil, a grinding of pepper and a dollop of pesto yoghurt (if using)

 

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