Sautéed calamari with fresh sweet corn, bell pepper, and green onions is a 20-minute, one-skillet meal. Ditch the deep-fried batter and enjoy healthy, protein-rich calamari in this simple summer salad.
You don’t see many recipes for calamari that isn’t fried or breaded and baked. While I’m not opposed to the standard deep-fried restaurant appetizer, I always jump at the chance to order grilled calamari or calamari salad. Calamari rings and tentacles have a mild, pleasant flavor on their own, not unlike shrimp or other seafood. All you really need to dress it up is salt and pepper and some lemon juice.
I wanted to make some kind of calamari salad for summer. I actually tried to make a grilled calamari salad using my grill-pan, but it didn’t work out. The calamari my supermarket sells was already cut into rings, and the pieces were too small. I think you need the tops to be whole for grilling to work well.
But then I finished cooking the calamari pieces in my trusty cast-iron skillet, and I realized it cooks super-quick sautéing it on the stove. This dish cooks so quickly, there isn’t time for your kitchen to really heat up.
I wanted to add corn because, like I mentioned last week, I love cooking with fresh sweet corn when it’s available. Red peppers add color and green onions add zing. I ended up with this very simple but flavorful corn salad that makes the sautéed calamari into a full meal.
Here are the main ingredients. That’s a pound of frozen calamari that I let defrost in the fridge overnight, kernels from three ears of corn, red pepper, green onions, and lemon. I separated the white and green parts of the onions so I could cook the white part a little. Raw onion in salads is not my thing.
I sautéed the calamari first. It takes all of three minutes. Be careful not to overcook it, so it stays tender.
I removed the calamari from the skillet and cooked the rest of the ingredients, then added it back in at the end.
Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Sautéed Calamari Corn Salad
- 1 pound frozen calamari, thawed
- salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 small bunch green onions, sliced, white and green parts separated
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 ears corn - cut off kernels
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- lemon wedges for serving
- Drain calamari of excess liquid and pat dry with paper towels to the extent possible. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add calamari and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until calamari is opaque. Remove calamari to a plate with tongs or a slotted spoon. Pour out and discard any liquid left in the skillet.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add white parts of green onions, red pepper, and oregano. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Add corn kernels and cook 3 more minutes or until corn is tender, stirring often.
- Remove skillet from heat. Add cooked calamari, green parts of green onions, and vinegar. Stir to combine. Serve with lemon wedges.