Of late I have been travelling a fair bit for work. While traveling one is always enlightened by new food and cultures ,however it makes you miss the comfort of a freshly cooked home meal. Since, I have been travelling to Rajasthan in Northern India , a land of exquisite palaces and impressive forts I have in particular been missing seafood as it is a gazillion miles away from the sea.Hence , the first priority I returned was to go to my local fishmonger for some fresh seafood. I sure hit the jackpot when I found some fresh baby squid !
Squid is a wonderful mollusk which is relatively cheaper when compared to other seafood such as shrimp, octopus, wild caught fishes . However, the price point doesn’t do justice to it’s nutritional value. Squids are rich in copper , zinc, protein , Vitamin B-12 all of which are required for healthy bodily functions. Additionally they are low fat , hence are perfect for those looking to prepare a healthy dish.
Do not be intimidated by squid, a few useful tips can help you make the process of selecting, cleaning and cooking it rather simple.
- Always select smaller squid . Smaller squid is generally more tender than the larger ones and require less work.
- Squid must always smell fresh with no foul odor , the eyes must be clear and not opaque. Opaque and dull eyes indicate rotten squid and you would be wise to avoid it.
- It’s preferable to buy squid fresh and consume it within a day or two. Alternatively they can be frozen once cleaned .
- In order to ensure the squid doesn’t become chewy, always score the squid before cooking.Instructions on prepping squid can be found in a previous post.
This healthy salad is accompanied by pomegranate vinaigrette and pomegranate seeds. Pomegranate is a delicious fruit which not only adds an extra dimension to your salads but is also packed with nutrients. For the pomegranate vinaigrette I have used fresh pomegranate juice , if you are unable to find fresh bottled juice would work well.
- 1/2 cup fresh( or bottled) pomegranate juice
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Salt and Pepper to season
- 5-6 Baby squid cleaned(if you cannot find baby squid use 3 large ones)
- 4 Red Cabbage leaves
- Slices of assorted bell peppers ( about 10-12 total slices of red, green and yellow would suffice)
- Pomegranate seeds for garnish.
- Salt,pepper and paprika for seasoning
- Add the ingredients for the pom vinaigrette in a bowl and whisk gently for 2-3 minutes. It is ideal to serve the salad in the same bowl, however you can also drizzle it over the salad.
- Blanch the bell peppers and the cabbage leaves in warm water for 5 minutes. Drain the water.
- Clean, score and season the squid with salt and paprika. Add olive oil to the squid. Make sure the oil is not added to the pan where you will grill it as it makes the room very smoky. Heat a pan and add the scored squid to the pan. Grill each side for 4-5 minutes. Instructions on cleaning, scoring and grilling a squid can be found in this video .
- Once the squid is grilled remove from the pan and let it rest for 2-3 minutes. Then slice rings of squid.
- In the bowl containing the vinaigrette toss in the grilled squid, red cabbage and bell peppers. Alternatively arrange them in a dish and drizzle the vinaigrette as shown in the picture. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve.