I woke up this morning thinking about a calamari salad I made at the end of July for my uncle's birthday. I remembered it being really good and I thought I should make it again soon. But for some reason I just couldn't remember where I got the recipe from.
The search began right after breakfast. I scoured through cookbooks, magazines and newspaper clippings. I searched the web and checked all my favorite blogs. Do you know how many calamari salad recipes are out there. Well there's lots; but not the one I was looking for.
I called my mother for moral support. "Yes, I remember that," she said. "You should make it again." Well I'm sure trying. She did remember that it had pine nuts. Ahh...another word to add to my search.
Finally, after hours of driving him crazy, my husband chimed in and said, "Didn't you take a photo for your blog?" He's always full of good ideas. Although, I had never gotten around to blogging about it I knew I had taken a picture. So we went to look at the photo. "What are those big reddish brown things?" he said. They almost looked like bacon but I didn't think so. Then it dawned on me...they're sun dried tomatoes.
My search began again. This time I went through everything looking for recipes with sun dried tomatoes; and right there on page 26 of Nick Stellino's Family Kitchen cookbook I found it!
Sauteed Calamari with Sun Dried Tomatoes
1 pound whole fresh calamari
1/2 cup bread crumbs
6 tablespoons olive oil
6 oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
4 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped arugula (I used baby spinach)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Rinse and clean squid thoroughly. Slice into rings. Toss squid with the bread crumbs. In a large nonstick saute pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat until the oil sizzles.
Pat excess crumbs from the squid and fry until firm and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Heat remaining olive oil, add sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook about 6-8 minutes.
Return calamari rings to pan and toss until well coated about 2 more minutes.
Toss with the arugula (spinach) and lemon juice until the greens wilt slightly.