Peri-peri calamari with chouriço, parsley and preserved lemon

Recipe from: 28 September 2010

Ingredients 17
Servings 6
Time 20 mins


  • 1
    calamari tubes and tentacles, cleaned
  • 45
    olive oil
  • 1
    large chouriço sausage
  • 2
    cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • Dressing:
  • 2
    small dried bay leaves
  • 5
    flaky sea salt
  • 60
    fresh lemon juice
  • 1
    fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 5
    chilli powder, or cayenne pepper
  • 7.5
  • 20
    Verlaque Birdseye Chili Olive Oil
  • 3
    Verlaque Zesty Lemons in Sea Salt (or preserved lemons)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • To serve:
  • Handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • Lemon wedges


15 mins
Using a pair of sharp scissors, snip the long sides of the calamari tubes and spread out flat.
Scrape away the fine inner membrane, and then, with the tip of a sharp knife, score the inner sides in a diamond pattern, taking care not to cut right through the flesh. Alternatively, if the tubes are small, leave them whole, but remember to scrape out the inner membrane after you've blanched them. 
Fill a large bowl with two litres of rapidly boiling water.
Drop the calamari pieces and tentacles into the water, leave for 45 seconds, and then drain. 
Place on several layers of kitchen paper and pat dry.
The dressing:
Tear the dry bay leaves into little pieces and crush, with the flaky sea salt, to a coarse powder, using a mortar and pestle.
Add the lemon juice, chopped fresh chilli, chilli powder, paprika and chilli oil, and stir well.
Cut the the flesh and pith off the preserved lemon slices, discard, and chop the remaining preserved peel into a fine dice.
Add to the dressing.
Season with salt and pepper.
Heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan set over a high flame.
 Remove the skin from the chouriço and pull the flesh into small pieces (or dice into small cubes).
Sizzle the chouriço in the hot olive oil for a minute or two, or until lightly browned.
Tip the sausage pieces or cubes into a colander set over a bowl and allow to drain.
Add a little more  olive oil to the pan and turn up the heat to its maximum.
Fry the calamari in small batches, over a high heat, for a minute or so per batch, or until just beginning to colour.
Add a lick more oil to the pan if necessary. 
Add the cooked calamari to the colander containing the sausage.

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Wipe out the frying pan, add another tablespoon of olive oil, add the garlic and fry gently for a minute, without allowing it to brown. Pour in the prepared dressing and bubble, over a low heat, until just hot.  Tip the calamari and chouriço pieces back into the pan, turn up the heat, and cook for another minute, tossing well so every piece is coated and heated right through. Season with pepper and more salt, if necessary.

Tip the calamari onto a heated platter. Scatter with the freshly chopped parsley and serve hot, with lemon wedges.


Read more on: fish/seafood  |  shallow-fry

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