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Sautéed Calamari

Zig Zag Café • Seattle

The chefs at Zig Zag hit on the fantastic sauce for this calamari while trying to use up some leftover preserved lemons. They now have to make gallons of preserved lemons every month to keep up with demand.

slideshow Amazing Seafood Recipes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4 to 6

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  • 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoons minced preserved lemon peel
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound cleaned small squid—patted dry, bodies cut into 1/4-inch rings, large tentacles halved
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large plum tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped drained capers
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Crusty bread, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Set the garlic cut side up on a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap loosely in the foil and bake for about 40 minutes, until the garlic is very soft. Squeeze the garlic into a mini food processor. Add the preserved lemon, oregano and the 1/4 cup of olive oil and process to a paste. Season the garlic paste with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the squid and cook over high heat, tossing, until starting to turn opaque, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and add the wine. Cook, stirring, until the wine has reduced by half, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato, olives, capers and crushed red pepper, then stir in the garlic paste and bring just to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, top with the parsley and serve with crusty bread.
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