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Herbed Calamari Salad with Preserved Lemons

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Ingredients
• 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 2 to 3 medium cloves garlic, smashed and minced
• 2½ pounds cleaned and trimmed uncooked calamari rings and tentacles (defrosted)
• ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
• ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
• Juice of 1 large lemon
• ¼ cup finely chopped mint leaves
• ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
• ½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
• Peel of 1 preserved lemon, thinly sliced

Instructions

PREP:
1. Begin by defrosting the calamari (if purchased frozen). Place in a strainer and run under cold water for 15 to 20 minutes, tossing a couple of times, until soft and pliable. Drain water, pat dry with paper towels and set aside.
2. Use a paring knife to remove just the rind from the preserved lemon. Discard the inside and thinly slice the rind.
3. Smash garlic and mince. Finely chop cleaned mint, cilantro and parsley.

COOK:
1. Heat a very large skillet or frying pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add 1½ Tablespoons of olive oil. Heat oil and add garlic.
2. Saute, stirring constantly, for 20 to 30 seconds until fragrant and add in defrosted and well-drained calamari (If your pan isn’t large enough to accommodate all the calamari in one layer, divide the 1½ T olive oil and cook the calamari in batches. You do not want them to steam, you want them to sear and for that, they must cook in a single layer with some room around them).Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and continue cooking for 2 to 4 minutes or until opaque and just firm.
3. Drain off any liquid that is released during cooking and remove cooked calamari to a mixing bowl.
4. Add remaining 1½ Tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, preserved lemon rind and herbs to mixing bowl and toss well while calamari still warm.
5. Adjust seasoning if necessary, cover and chill until ready to serve. This is nice served over some spring greens or other delicate lettuce with some ripe cucumbers or grape tomatoes. Enjoy!

 

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