One of the best things about calamari is that it is on the SASSI Green List which means it’s a sustainable choice. The next best thing? The crispy batter, that squeeze of lemon and a dunk into a spicy, aromatic harissa dipping sauce.
With love from the Palace
You will need
±200 g calamari, sliced into 1 cm rings, tentacles left whole
1 cup buttermilk
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup flour
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
1⁄2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1⁄2 tsp red chilli flakes
Chopped parsley for garnishing
Lemon wedges to serve
For the harissa dipping sauce
1 cup greek yoghurt
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Pesto Princess Harissa Paste
1 garlic clove, crushed
Sea salt, to taste
1. To make the harissa dipping sauce, whisk together all of the ingredients and set aside.
2. Next, marinade the calamari in buttermilk for 20-30 minutes or overnight (the buttermilk helps tenderise the calamari) and preheat the frying oil to 180°C. A deep-fryer is the tool to have here but you can also use a deep pan (just be very careful of the hot oil!).
3. Prepare some seasoned flour by combining flour, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and chilli flakes.
4. Drain the calamari and toss in the seasoned flour until it is evenly coated. Cook in the hot oil for one to two minutes until golden brown. Fry the calamari in batches to avoid overcrowding the fryer, which will cause the calamari to clump together.
5. Remove the calamari with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the process with the remaining calamari.
Serve with lemon wedges, a sprinkling of parsley and Harissa dip.
Recipe and food styling by Michelle Parkin.
Michael Olivier’s Choice
Flagstone Free Run Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Flagstone’s Winemaker, Gerhard Swart, makes real food-friendly wines and this one is a great partner with calamari.
It looks like Bottled in a Bordeaux shaped bottle under screw cap. The always attractive Flagstone livery is reminiscent of a Celtic piece of art reflecting founder Bruce Jack’s Scottish heritage. In the glass, it is a gem-bright, pale golden straw with lime green flashes.
It smells like Heady aromas of fynbos herbs, green bell peppers, sweet tropical limes and kiwi.
It tastes like Generous palate of crisp star fruit, ripe piel de sapo melon. Wet river stones. Vibrant, zippy, full palate with a lovely tail.