Salt and pepper calamari salad

  • medium
  • 4
  • 60 minutes
Not yet rated

Paul Welburn captures pure summer sunshine in his salt and pepper calamari salad recipe, with charred watermelon and a silky smooth avocado purée adding plenty of light, refreshing flavours. Squid or cuttlefish could be used to make the calamari; just ask your fishmonger for help preparing it if unsure.

First published in 2016




Salt and pepper calamari

Charred watermelon


Avocado purée



  • Blender
  • Deep-fryer


Begin by cooking the quinoa. Bring a small pan of water to the boil over a medium heat then add the quinoa and cook for 10–12 minutes until plumped up and just tender. Drain and spread out on a plate or tray to cool
Meanwhile, place a griddle pan over a high heat. Peel the watermelon and cut into 3cm thick slices. Brush with the oil and season with a little salt and pepper before placing the slices on the hot griddle
Grill for a few minutes, turning over halfway through, so that both sides are nicely charred. Set aside to cool slightly before cutting into bite-sized chunks. You can also cook the melon on a barbecue, if preferred
Place the dressing ingredients in a jar, seal and shake well to emulsify (alternatively, whisk together in a bowl until well combined)
Peel and stone the avocados, scooping the flesh into a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blitz to form a smooth purée. Add spoonfuls of the purée to each serving plate
Preheat a deep-fryer with oil to 170°C
  • oil, for deep-frying
For the calamari, mix together both flours and the baking powder in a bowl then whisk in the sparkling water to achieve a smooth batter – add a little more water if it seems too thick
  • 100g of plain flour
  • 50g of cornflour
  • 25g of baking powder
  • 190ml of sparkling water
Dip the squid pieces in the batter so that they are fully coated then deep-fry in batches for 3–4 minutes until crisp and light golden in colour. Drain any excess oil on kitchen paper and season well with the salt and pepper. Squeeze over the juice from 1 wedge of lime and reserve the rest for serving
Place the cooked quinoa, charred watermelon and salad leaves in a large bowl and toss together with 2–3 tbsp of the dressing. Divide between the serving plates then top with the salt and pepper calamari. Serve with the extra lime wedges and a little more dressing drizzled over
  • 1 large pack of salad

Paul Welburn has years of Michelin-star cooking behind him, holding a star for five years at restaurant W1.

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