Greek Salad with Grilled Calamari

We enjoyed a fresh Greek style salad for dinner last night with a bottle of Russian River Valley Lynmar Chardonnay . I mention this chardonnay because both the Reserve Vineyard Designates and the Russian River Valley/ Sonoma Coast releases are some of my favorite wines. In the past it was poured by the glass at one of our favorite restaurants, Willi’s Wine Bar, a roadhouse that serves small plates in the Sonoma County wine country. Later I found it at my favorite discount bottle store, the Bottle Barn. The Bottle Barn is fun to check out, you never know what you’re going to find there as they always have an impressive selection of the best local wines, many of which are from small wineries and are unavailable elsewhere. Now that I know how to make links, watch out, I’ll be sharing all my favorite things here! Not unlike the delectable combination of a glass of Lynmar chardonnay paired with fresh calamari brushed with a little olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper cooked quickly on a hot grill. All the veggies in our salad came from the local farmers market in town, I made this salad in less than thirty minutes and snapped the picture outside on the deck right as the sun went down. I didn’t even have to hide from the fire department, nice to prepare a stress free meal! Sharing a simply prepared meal on a beautiful summer evening is one of my favorite things. I found a recipe for Greek salad in the Dining section of the New York Times but of course I used the parts that I liked and changed the rest, it’s easy to do that with a salad recipe. I prefer lemon juice instead of red wine vinegar and olive oil for the dressing but I liked using the three different herbs called for in the recipe. I know romaine lettuce is normally used in a Greek salad but I found a beautiful head of red butter lettuce and used it instead. The grilled calamari was tender, mild and slightly sweet, it was wonderful with the fresh herbs and vegetables in the salad. I made enough salad for two people for dinner with a small amount left over, just enough for lunch for one person the next day. I like leftovers, even squid, yes calamari is squid but it sounds so much better when called by its Italian name!

Ingredients and Directions
2 generous servings

Grilled Calamari

1/2 pound calamari, cleaned and ready to cook
Olive oil for brushing
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat the grill. Lay the calamari on a plate and brush with olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Grill for 2 minutes on each side, it will cook fast and be a little bit browned. Have the salad ready except for the dressing before grilling the calamari.

Greek Salad

4 cups red butter leaf lettuce, cleaned and torn into pieces or romaine lettuce
4 small radishes, sliced
1/8 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced thin
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced thin
6 medium size cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup fresh green beans, cooked and sliced in small pieces
1 small garlic clove, cut in half
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
1 small piece feta cheese, crumbled
8 Greek or Italian black olives, pitted and cut in half
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Sprinkle a little salt into a large salad bowl and rub the cut side of the garlic over the salt, throw away the garlic. Place the lettuce, radishes, red onion, peppers, green beans and tomatoes in the bowl. Add the fresh herbs. Before serving add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix together and sprinkle with the crumbled feta and black olives. Arrange the grilled calamari on top.

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Comments

  1. Patty, I was so excited, too, when I first learned to link other pages.

    Your salad is so chock full of good stuff. The grilled calamari just takes it over the top. And yes, I would have picked the lemon over the red wine vinegar, too. Yum!

  2. Patty,
    This is a stunning meal. I love calamari, but I hate to only eat it fried. I'm sure the salad itself tasted wonderful due to using such fresh, local ingredients. I will keep my eyes out for that Chardonnay too…you have such good taste!

  3. Wow, Patty, what a great way to serve calamari! I will definitely keep this one in mind.

  4. Yikes! Look at all of these wonderful things…Amazing salad, I could easily become very addicted:)

  5. Calamari!! I'm saying yay for this! Grill calamari reminds me of a street vendor in Bangkok. A glass of Chardonnay sounds really good. I can only have a glass of wine and chardonnay is the one I could have. Great choice Patty!

  6. Sounds lovely! I've lived in Greece and this would traditionally be served without any lettuce, but I like the crunch of lettuce with this salad.

  7. What a gorgeous salad! That looks like heaven on a plate!

  8. Looks wonderful ! Grilled calamari is one of life's great pleasures…:)

  9. Patty…speak of a long river to get to your favourite Chardonay.LOL Your excitement of this treasure screams right through the screen…nice to know that I'm not the only one to attach importance to these little joys of life.
    Love anything from the Greek cuisine, especially the salad types. I think yours has much more character!!! The only thing I replace Greek feta with is by the Bulgarian creamy and tastier kind. Have you tried it?
    Now, grilled Calamari…wait…I'm packing…get me a glass of vino…I'm flying over ;o))

    Ciao, Ciao for now and have a fabulous week.
    Claudia

  10. oh yum! that is seriously the perfect meal!

  11. OOoo… This looks so delicious. It's hard to get my husband to eat salad, but I think with some grilled calamari on top he will be more than happy!

  12. Beautiful. Great colors on the dish. Perfect flavor combinations and grilled squid. A+ in my book!

  13. What a stunning dish! I'll follow you anywhere. I see color taste and texture here. I am a happy camper. Have a lovely day. Blessings…Mary

  14. I think using the butter lettuce was a great idea so the fresh vegetables would stand out more. Romaine's great, but it has a much stronger flavor. It's a gorgeous salad.

  15. What a colorful, flavorful, wonderful salad. YUM!

  16. Hey Patty, I love salad night! It's always the best dinner with a nice loaf of bread and a bottle of wine…
    Hmm? So your fresh calamari was tender? I've always read that one should buy frozen if one wants tender calamari. Fresh sounds better though…!

  17. This is a wonderful, healthy salad with so many ingredients good for our body. Perfect for summer!

  18. Looks so mouth watering! I love a good salad and nothing beats fresh calamari.

  19. Calamari is so tasty and it looks so good on a bed of veges….such a beautiful salad.

    Glad you didn't have to hide from the fire dept this time ;)

  20. Everything tastes better when its local isn't it?

  21. This looks like a restaurant meal! Very impressive :)

  22. Oh I adore grilled calamari! what a gorgeous salad!

  23. I like calamari a lot, but my French husband do not like them (for the texture – that's why I love them for). That is why I do not prepare them at home very often :)
    I am not a great fun of classical Greek salad (the same is with traditional salad Nicoise), but with addition of calamari it changes everything. Have a good day!

  24. This is amazing. I love squid oh sorry calamari hehe and with a great wine, that much better!

  25. Greek salad is my favorite, and with calamari yummm.

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