Can you say San Francisco hot spot? If you have plans to visit San Francisco, you must make your way over to NOPA (it stands for North of the Panhandle, the neighborhood where the restaurant is located).Housed in a beautifully restored 1920s bank building, Chef Laurence Jossel, his wife Allyson, and Jeff Hanak serve tasty regional organic fare for hip food lovers in the know. In San Francisco, if a place is truly hip, it MUST have great food. Chef Laurence Jossel shared his recipe with me for his Calamari Salad this month. It’s a home run in my book! At the restaurant, they cook the calamari in a wood-oven but the home cook can easily pan sear the squid. I love the fact that it embraces the season’s offerings, is easy on the pocketbook AND pairs incredibly well with this month’s Gruner Veltliner!
Quick-Seared Calamari Salad, with Oranges, Fennel and Kalamata Olives
Vinaigrette (makes ½ cup)
To make the vinaigrette, pour vinegar over the finely mashed garlic in a bowl and let stand for 5 minutes (to take raw taste out). Add chopped oregano, and whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste. Whisk in reserved orange juice. If you want to get crazy, you cab add some orange zest.
Place a heavy skillet on stove on medium-high heat. While the skillet is heating, assemble everything but squid and vinaigrette in a bowl. Pour oil on top of squid in a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper. Quickly add squid in skillet, making sure to have plenty of space between pieces. The skillet must be hot and the squid not crowded so you can SEAR). The squid will curl and become opaque and don’t move or overcook! Start with tentacles, cook 10 seconds then add the bodies and then after 30 seconds remove the skillet from the heat. Total squid cooking time should be between 30–40 seconds.
After the squid is cooked, take whole skillet and turn into the bowl with the fennel, oranges, frisée, radicchio, and olives with all the collected juices. Quickly add vinaigrette, toss and plate. Garnish with Fried Chickpeas (see below)
To make the Fried Chickpeas, take cooked chickpeas and fry them in vegetables oil until very crisp (Oils should be at medium heat or 300˚F), about 6 to 7 minutes. Toss with spicy spanish paprika and salt.
For instructions on how to clean the squid, check out this video clip: How to Clean Squid
Angela Camacho, a certified sommelier and author of a best selling wine tool, The Wine Wheel®, shares her obsession with wine and food.