A la plancha is a Spanish term that refers to a method of searing food over a very hot metal plate. We go through about 15 tons of fresh calamari a year. Squid is seasonal—it’s at its peak in the summer through early fall—and there are times of the year when it’s hard to find. We serve this dish only when we have fresh calamari, because the frozen product contains too much water and never really caramelizes the right way. Don’t be shy with the seasonings; this is not supposed to be a subtle dish.–Sasa Mahr-Batuz and Andy Pforzheimer
Calamari a la Plancha Recipe
Hands-On Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes | Serves 4
- 1 pound cleaned fresh calamari, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch-thick rings, and tentacles, if included with the squid
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic, 3 to 5 cloves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt, for garnish
- 4 lemon wedges, for garnish
- 1. Put 2 large saute pans (cast iron if possible) over high heat until very hot, about 3 to 4 minute.
- 2. Pat the calamari dry with paper towels and then season them lightly with salt.
- 3. Pour 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in one of the pans and sear the calamari until it releases its liquid, about 4 minutes.
- 4. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the other pan and then remove the pan from the heat and hold it, at an angle, near the pan with the calamari. Lift the calamari from the first pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to the second pan, leaving the juices in the first pan.
- 5. Return the second pan to the heat and add the garlic and tentacles. Cook until the calamari is nicely browned. Add the parsley and pepper flakes, stir, and remove the pan from the heat.
- 6. Divide the calamari among 4 serving plates, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, and garnish each plate with sea salt and a lemon wedge.
Calamari a la Plancha Recipe © 2009 Sasa Mahr-Batuz and Andy Pforzheimer. Photo © 2009 John Blais. All rights reserved.