If the only shellfish you’ve ever grilled is shrimp, give squid a try: Just marinate the squid in olive oil and lemon juice and give them a quick sear on a hot grill. Topping the squid with a cast-iron pan helps to keep them in place and creates great grill marks. The recipe makes more romesco than you will need, but it will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up a week, and leftovers are delicious spooned over roasted vegetables or grilled meats.
Grilled Squid with Chorizo and Romesco
For the romesco sauce:
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup (3 oz./90 g) diced roasted tomatoes, drained if canned
2 Tbs. blanched almonds
2 Tbs. blanched hazelnuts
1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) olive oil
1 Tbs. roasted garlic paste
1 Tbs. ancho chile powder
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1 thin slice country-style bread, torn into pieces
Tomato juice or water as needed
1 1/2 lb. (750 g) cleaned small whole squid bodies with tentacles attached
5 Tbs. (2 1/2 fl. oz./75 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 small garlic clove, finely minced
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
4 to 6 oz. (125 to 185 g) cured Spanish chorizo sausages, halved lengthwise
3 cups (3 oz./90 g) small arugula leaves
To make the romesco, in a food processor, combine the bell pepper, tomatoes, nuts, oil, garlic paste, chile powder, vinegar, paprika, salt and bread and process until a coarse puree forms. The sauce3 should be thick yet pourable. If it isn’t, add tomato juice until you achieve a pourable consistency. Measure out 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) and transfer the rest to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Cut the tips off of the squid bodies to allow the steam to escape during grilling. In a bowl, toss the squid with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, 1/4 tsp. of the salt, and 1/8 tsp. of the pepper. Let stand at room temperature.
To make the salad dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice and the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Set aside.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill. Brush the grill grate and coat with oil.
Put the squid and chorizo on the grate and cook, turning once, until nicely grill marked, about 2 minutes per side. For more even cooking and great grill marks, put a heavy cast-iron pan on the squid as they grill.
Cut the grilled squid bodies into rings and leave the tentacles whole. Cut the sausages into half-moons about 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick.
Toss the arugula with the dressing and divide the arugula salad among individual plates. Top each salad portion with the grilled squid, chorizo and a large dollop of romesco. Serves 4.
For this recipe and other secrets on how to make fabulous food
on the grill, check out our essential guide to cooking on fire,
Grill School, by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim.