1kg whole calamari (6 small or 4 medium), cleaned, wings attached
8-12 metal skewers
160ml extra virgin olive oil
Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to season
6 handfuls baby spinach
3 anchovy fillets
2 red bullet chillies, finely chopped
2 long red chillies, finely chopped
2 small garlic cloves, finely grated
20ml sherry vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, halved
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
To make lemon dressing, put lemons in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Once boiling, strain off water, and repeat the process twice more. On the third time, allow the lemons to simmer for 30 minutes until soft. Drain well and remove all seeds. Put in a blender and process on high until smooth.
With the blender going, stream in extra virgin olive oil, cumin and salt. You should have a smooth lemon puree that can be dolloped.
Split calamari hoods so they open out flat, then cut them in half lengthways. Cut the crowns of the tentacles in half, allowing one set for each piece of calamari. Pierce one edge of each calamari piece with a skewer and thread through a couple of times to stop them from curling up when they cook. Attach the tentacles to the ends of the skewers.
Preheat barbecue grill on high – if you have a real fire going, wait until the flames have died down and you have a good bed of hot coals before cooking.
Lightly oil calamari using 40ml of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Barbecue for about 2 minutes on each side.
Once cooked, put spinach leaves on a serving plate and slide the calamari onto the spinach. The heat will wilt the spinach which is what you want. Dollop a little lemon puree around the plate.
Warm remaining extra virgin olive oil in small saucepan. Add anchovies, stirring to melt. Mix in chilli and garlic, stirring to flavour oil. Remove from heat. Stir in vinegar and pepper and spoon over the calamari. Serve while still warm.
For more delicious recipes, pick up a copy of the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine in selected newsagents and supermarkets or buy online today!
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