|Provençal Calamari Salad with Tarragon and Mint
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 pound calamari, cut into 1/2-inch rings
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 stem tarragon, leaves roughly chopped
2 stems mint, leaves roughly chopped
Chopped toasted almonds, for garnish (optional)
In a sauté pan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté gently—you don't want to add color, until it just turns fragrant. Add the tomatoes and chili flakes, and some salt and pepper, and sauté for about 3 minutes.
Raise the heat to high, add the calamari, and season again. Allow to cook until just firm and opaque—under five minutes, so keep a close watch.
Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, and lemon juice with some salt and pepper.
When the calamari have gone from translucent shell pink to opaque white, and not a moment later, drain off most of the liquid in the pan. Then add the lemon dressing and the tarragon and mint. If you like, sprinkle just a few roughly chopped toasted almonds over the top. Serve hot, or at room temperature.
- serves 4 - Kerry Saretsky