Saturday, September 3, 2011


Crispy Calamari with Pesto Mayonnaise



1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 egg yolk
1 cup packed parsley
1 cup packed basil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Canola oil, for frying
1/3 cup Wondra flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup chickpea flour
1 lb. cleaned calamari, heads cut into 1/4″-wide rings
2 cups milk
1 cup cauliflower florets
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp. finely chopped preserved lemon rind (optional)
2 tbsp. finely chopped lemon segments
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. Aleppo pepper or paprika
1/2 tsp. each ground cinnamon, ground cumin, ground ginger, sweet paprika, ground lime powder (optional), and ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground fennel seed
Mixed greens, for serving


1. Make the pesto mayonnaise: Heat oil and garlic in a 1-qt. saucepan over low heat, and cook until garlic is soft, about 40 minutes; remove garlic, set aside, and let oil cool. In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, mustard, salt, and yolk until smooth; slowly drizzle in cooled oil, whisking constantly, until sauce emulsifies into a smooth mayonnaise. Puree mayonnaise, reserved garlic, herbs, and nuts in a blender until smooth; transfer to a serving bowl and chill.

2. Pour oil to a depth of 2″ in a 6-qt. Dutch oven, and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Whisk together Wondra, cornstarch, and chickpea flour in a bowl; set aside. Combine calamari, milk, cauliflower, and chickpeas in a another bowl; drain and transfer to flour mixture, tossing until coated. Working in batches, fry calamari, cauliflower, and chickpeas until golden brown and calamari is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, and then place in a large bowl and toss with lemon rind and segments, salt, Aleppo pepper, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, paprika, lime powder, black pepper, coriander, and fennel. Transfer to a large serving platter on top of mixed greens and serve with pesto mayonnaise on the side.

Saveur Magazine #140
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Anonymous said...

This looks sooooo good Teresa! Yum! Have a great weekend. xo

The enchanted home said...

Yum!! Love crispy calamari and this is something most in my family likes as well....printing this out, sounds too good to not try. Thanks!

Renée Finberg said...

this is one of my favorite dishes.
i have never tried it with the sauce you have described.
i wish i had he time to make it!!!!

under spanish moss said...

The rule in the South...anything fried has to be good!
Angela and Renee

Marianne {Style For Living} said...

I love calamari! This recipe looks amazing. Hope you have a great holiday weekend! xo

Anonymous said...

I'm with Angela and Renee..if it's fried I'll eat it...fabulous recipe.. copy/paste to my files..

Sarah Klassen said...

Oh my goodness, this looks delicious—thank you for the recipe :)

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