Skillet calamari with zucchini
This skillet calamari with zucchini is incredibly fast, flavorful and nutritious. If the calamari is cleaned, it takes only 10 minutes to prepare, it needs very little cooking over a very high heat. My cast iron pan is ideal for this and I am so happy it’s becoming popular in Greece again.
Considering their drawbacks first, cast iron skillets are, there’s a learning curve to using one and if it’s not enameled, you need to remove acidic foods from them as soon as they’re ready because they might get a somewhat metallic taste if left in the pan for too long. That’s it, no more negatives. On the plus side, they are quite economical both because the initial cost of acquiring one is reasonable but also, above all, because they’re virtually indestructible and safe to use. If your grandparents happen to have one lying around because they’re too heavy for them to use, ask if you can take it off their hands and put it to good use, even its got traces of rust. With a good scrub and seasoning, it will be like new.
With regular use it becomes almost non-stick, with the added advantage of being able to safely heat it to a high temperature, while the (most) non-stick pans have restrictions and are not supposed to exceed a certain temperature. Water is the cast iron skillet’s enemy, so you have to dry it thoroughly. After washing it with the help of a brush, I usually heat it a little on the stove to dry completely, then coat it oil and let it cool. That’s it. See here for its care.
Back to our recipe now, it’s very fast to make and you can serve it as is. If you’d like to stretch out any leftovers, you can serve them over with rice or even cauliflower rice. It’s a great summer recipe when you want to spend more time outside and zucchini is in season. If you want more zucchini ideas, see here. If the squid is small, you don’t have to cut it at all. Otherwise you cut each one in half for large bites, bearing in mind that they will shrink quite a bit in cooking. Here are more seafood ideas. If you use a cast iron pan, it’ll stay warm after you turn off the heat, so make sure you serve right away.
Skillet calamari with zucchini – recipe
- 850 g Calamari
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
- 2 onions, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper, or sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon coriander, ground
- 5 zucchini
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Cut the zucchini in four lengthwise and then into slices. Clean and wash the squid. Then leave to drain in a colander. Heat the skillet to very hot. While it’s heating, cut the squid into large bites if necessary and put the tentacles aside.
Once the pan is hot, add the oil and calamari in two batches and cook, stirring for just 2 minutes and set aside. Then cook the tentacles for 1′ and set aside along with the rest of the calamari.
Lower the heat to medium and add the onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté until soft without color and add the garlic and spices. Stir well and add the zucchini. Sauté for 5 minutes until cooked while retaining its bite. Then add the calamari to warm through along with the lemon juice. Stir well, correct the salt and pepper and serve the calamari immediately, sprinkled with the zest.