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To this day, calamari continues to remain on Tom’s, “I really won’t eat that” list (I’m working on him though). It was actually the first (of only a few) things that I have cooked for him that he actually wouldn’t/couldn’t eat. Full disclosure: this particular calamari steak turned out so badly, we both had to throw it away. I later found out that he strongly dislikes squid, so it already had a black mark (heh, heh) against it, however, on our first date, he managed to choke down, without mention or commentary, the other four foods that he strongly disliked (I, of course, happened to make them all in one dinner, lucky Tom). To think, I was quite pleased with myself for cooking him, what at the time, was my most impressive meal. It was what I cooked myself when I wanted to be fancy. It also happened to include four of my favorite things: lamb, eggplant, mushrooms and legumes. Well, they do say opposites attract.

That was over twenty-one years ago and I am much better at cooking calamari now, and cooking in general. I think Tom is (secretly) starting to like squid, but baby steps are in order here. [Tom here, uh, Hell no] I would never subject him to another dinner of calamari doré, so I will happily take my squid to Fiesta Friday this week but I won’t say “more for us”, instead I’ll say “since he’s not here!”

Simple Sautéd Calamari with garlic, olives & tomato

The first time I was able to cook fresh squid (not previously frozen), it was a game changer. Hard to come by, but I highly recommend it if you find some.


1/2 lb squid (calamari) (both tentacles and tubes)
1-2 TB olive oil and a pad of butter
1 small tomato, diced
3 good quality olives of your choice, pitted, sliced or chopped
2-3 TB fresh courtly chopped Italian parsley




Rinse and drain the calamari tubes and tentacles; dry with paper towels. Season the calamari with sea salt and pepper. To a hot sauté pan, drizzle in some olive oil. Throw in the chopped garlic followed by the calamari, toss once or twice and quickly throw in a handful of diced tomatoes, good-quality olives cut in pieces and chopped, fresh parsley (if you like, melting a little butter in is nice too). Then squeeze in juice from a lemon wedge and voila – a quick and tasty first course. Serve with a slice of grilled bread.

Come on over to Angie’s place for Fiesta Friday to check out all the other great food and weekend inspiration.