This is a very simple way of preparing calamari and vegetables. If you want to you could toss in a couple of shrimp or scallops too since they also have a very quick cooking time. The veggies are interchangeable, so pick the ones you like. The squeeze of fresh lemon is essential, don’t leave it out! I adapted this from Scott Conant’s recipe.
- 6-8 C. cooking oil, I used peanut oil
- 1 lb. calamari tubes and tentacles
- 1 C. milk
- 1 zucchini
- 6-8 leaves of radicchio
- 1 lemon
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced very thin
- 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 C. flour
When you are frying you must do all your prep ahead and have everything ready to go before you start. Using large amount of hot cooking oil and then stopping to wash the parsley or cut the lemons could spell disaster. So, first, slice the calamari tubes into rings and place them with the tentacles in a bowl with the milk. Set that aside. Now, slice 1/2 of the lemon into very thin slices, and the other half into wedges. Slice the garlic very thin. Chop half of the parsley. Slice the zucchini into two-inch sticks. Wash and dry the radicchio leaves. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and place a rack into it. On another baking sheet combine the flour with salt and pepper. Heat the oil to 375 degrees while you flour the calamari and zucchini. Heat the oven to 170 degrees to keep everything warm. Drain the calamari and discard the milk. Toss the calamari and zucchini in the seasoned flour. Use a mesh strainer to knock off the excess flour. Cook the calamari and zucchini in three batches. Place the first batch into the hot oil with a couple of lemon and garlic slices and a couple of the radicchio leaves. When the calamari is golden brown (after about three minutes), use a Chinese strainer to remove the batch to the prepared rack/paper towel baking sheet. Place the sheet into the warm oven. Add the second batch, more lemon, garlic, radicchio, etc. Continue until you have cooked all the calamari and veggies and placed them on the warming rack in the oven. Last, fry a handful of parsley leaves until crispy. Serve the whole platter with the crisp parsley leaves on top as well as the fresh chopped parsley. Squeeze the lemon wedges over the whole thing and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot!