When you order calamari as an appetizer at a restaurant, it too often comes breaded, fried, and served with marinara sauce. Delfina takes a different route, flash-grilling the calamari until tender, then serving it over a bed of buttery white bean salad. The picada sauce adds an herby garlicky kick, making this one dish you'll want to make over and over again.
Grilled Fresh Calamari with Warm White Bean Salad
2lbs fresh calamari, cleaned and separated (but not skinned if possible)
9" wooden skewers
Pure olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper
1 clove garlic
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped fine
½ lb "Rice Beans"
½ bunch sage leaves
3- 4 garlic cloves
Lemon zest from 1 lemon, julienned and blanched
1. Cook the rice beans: Combine beans, sage and garlic in a large pot. Add cold water to cover by about 4" and bring to a boil. Reduce to a very low simmer and cook for about 2 hours, or until the beans are completely tender. Season lightly with salt and store in their liquid.
2. Make the picada: Combine the garlic and salt in a mortar and pound to a paste. Transfer to a stainless steel bowl. Add the oil, a little at a time, to form a homogeneous mixture. When all the oil is added, stir-in the parsley and season with salt.
3. Skewer the squid bodies in-groups of three, once through the bottom and once through the top of each. Season with salt and pepper and brush with oil. Grill until squid begins to firm up slightly and take on color. Flip and grill on the other side.
4. Toss the greens with salt, pepper, a splash of vinegar and some extra virgin olive oil.
5. Warm the beans with some of their cooking liquid, some extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
6. Arrange the grilled calamari with the beans and the greens. Sprinkle with the olives, picada and lemon zest.