Stuffed Calamari

Flavored with herbs and stuffed with spicy peppers and vegetables, this dish elevates the humble calamari above its usual guise of fried rings.


Chef: Nena Ismyrnoglou

Preparation & Cooking time: 60'

Serves: 4

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 200oC. Wash the calamari well and drain. Place the tentacles in a saucepan with just enough water to cover them and boil for 2-3 minutes. Separately, in a large frying pan over high heat, sauté the garlic briefly in 40 ml of olive oil. For the best flavor crush the clove gently with the flat side of a knife before cooking. Remove the garlic and set aside. Add the peppers to the oil and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a deep bowl. Pour another 40 ml olive oil into the pan to cook down the tomatoes for 4-5 minutes. Add to the bowl with the peppers. Remove pan from heat. When the tomatoes and pepper have cooled, mix in salt and pepper and strain in a sieve over another bowl to keep the juices.

Place the peppers and tomatoes back into their original bowl and mix in the cheeses, herb, lemon zest and a pinch of pepper. Use the mixture to stuff the calamari, placing the tentacles to block the opening and secure with a toothpick. Place the calamari in a baking dish greased with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. For a crisper result, cook on a metal rack under the grill for 5-6 minutes on each side, placing a dish below to catch the precious juices. Once they’re cooked, place the calamari on a serving platter and mix the juice from the vegetables with the juice in the baking tray, adding the lemon juice and the remaining olive oil and pour over the calamari. Serve as an appetizer.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 kg large calamari, preferably fresh, well cleaned
  • 250 gr feta, roughly diced
  • 100 gr mild hard yellow cheese such as graviera or kefalotyri, grated
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 hot green cow-horn peppers, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh marjoram or oregano, finely chopped, or 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 140 ml olive oil
  • 30 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic


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