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Spanish Tapas Baby Calamari with Garlic and Parsley

Just over a week ago I was in Barcelona enjoying great company, wonderful architecture, local food and drink, a fantastic coaching course and then totally unexpected, an outstanding culinary lesson. Tipped by a new friend at the beginning of the week I signed up for a Tapas Cooking Experience and on Friday evening found myself in the home of  Guillermo and Cristina founders of Barcelona Slow Travel. This time, instead of only ordering tapas, we were actually making them. Ten different dishes, and every single one of them far superior to any I’d eaten before.

Without a doubt the most significant difference between these tapas and all the others I’d tasted was the quality of the raw ingredients. As far as was possible, absolutely everything was locally sourced, organically and sustainably farmed. The menu was carefully set to be completely consistent with the season and the results were phenomenal.

Tapas, incase anyone is unfamiliar with the term are small savory Spanish dishes, and these were, as is customary, served with drinks. In our case, an absolutely delicious local Vermouth to start us off, purchasable in bottles only from stores that keep the barrels: Casa Mariol Vermut Negre.

I’m going to write much more about this experience later, but in the meanwhile let me share this ridiculously easy, mouthwatering recipe and a confession. I’ve never cooked squid before! Never. I thought baby calamari would be an awkward, fiddly dish to make. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Baby Calamari with garlic and parsley requires minimum preparation, takes only 10 minutes to make and the results, perfection.

Spanish Tapas Baby Calamari with Garlic and Parsley

Spanish Tapas Baby Calamari with Garlic and Parsley

Serves 6 as a snack

500g/1lb 2oz baby calamari/ squid

3 cloves of garlic

large handfull of parsley

1 lemon

Your absolute favorite, most flavorful extra virgin olive oil

sea salt to taste

 

METHOD:

  1. Firstly, prepare the garlic, parsley and lemon. The lemon should be cut into wedges for serving. Finely chop the parsley and dice the garlic.

A new trick I learned, was to remove the stems/ germs/ sprouts (referred to in many different ways) from the garlic cloves before using them. Whether or not they’re green (but certainly if they are) they apparently add a certain bitterness to dishes, which can be considerably enhanced by removing them.

To do this, slice the cloves in half lengthways and use the tip of a sharp knife to lift it out from each half and discard it.

2.   For the baby calamari, depending on the size of your pan, this may need to be divided in two:

 

3.   Once the calamari starts to get some colour, add the garlic and turn the heat down to about 2/3 full temperature. Press the calamari against the pan slightly if necessary, to get some colour.

Spanish Tapas Baby Calamari with Garlic and Parsley

 

4.   Add a little extra olive oil as needed. then sprinkle the parsley over the calamari. Once the parsley starts to get crispy remove from the heat.

Spanish Tapas Baby Calamari with Garlic and Parsley

Spanish Tapas Baby Calamari with Garlic and Parsley

 

5.   Pour extra olive oil over the calamari, a little crushed sea salt and it’s ready to be served together with the lemon.

Add more olive oil, not because it ‘needs it’, but because it tastes incredible – Guillermo

Voila!

Spanish Tapas Baby Calamari with Garlic and Parsley

Linking Spanish Tapas Baby Calamari with Garlic and Parsley with #TastyTuesdays#CookBlogShare, #WednesdayBlogHop#MMWBH & #ShareWithMe

Lastly, I have to tell you about this olive oil: Oleum Flumen Premium, Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Absolutely delicious. A perfectly balanced fruity flavour, equally as delightful to pour over salad, as to cook this delicious calamari, or drizzle over tomato bread. If you find yourself in Barcelona, please grab me up a bottle!

What are your favorite tapas?

19 Comments

  1. I shouldn’t read recipes when I am starving for dinner this looks so good and it made me salivate reading it. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again tomorrow for another great round. #sharewithme

  2. What a stunning recipe and photographs. We adore calamari here and ate this in Spain. I love the deep fried calamari too. Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

    • Thanks honey. I loved the experience learning to cook with these guys in Barcelona. I can already see it’s going to leave it’s mark on our ‘cosy family Fridays’ 🙂

  3. I absolutely adore calamari and tapas. I lived in Gran Canaria for 7 years and fell in love with the food and way of eating. Unfortunately no body else in the house likes calamari but I definitely need this in my life!!! x Thank you for sharing x #CookBlogShare

    • NO WAY! I had no idea you’d lived there!
      Well, it’s so ridiculously quick to make… You’re worth making them for too you know! Never mind the others 🙂

  4. This looks delicious – like you I had always thought calamari would be too difficult to cook with but you’ve convinced me otherwise. This looks so yummy and doable. I do love good tapas, my favourite place in london for this is Morito. But we also make it at home and now will definitely be adding calamri to our spread. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hi Steph, thanks for sharing the recipe! I love the picture you took with the drizzle of olive oil over the pan, what a good shot! Hope all is well and looking forward your next visit to Barcelona.

    • Thanks Guillermo, I really like that shot too 🙂
      You’re doing an absolutely brilliant job, I feel really privileged to have been able to participate.

  6. I love calamari and squid and this just caught my attentions, seems so simple and easy to make and yet it looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing! #sharewithme

    • The simplicity of the whole dish was the brilliance. Easy and quick to make, and the crispy parsley was the perfect topping. I’m even going to do it at home! 🙂

  7. This looks amazing, Steph! I am seriously jealous of your Tapas Cooking Experience. I would love to do that – I’ve bookmarked the link! Looking forward to hearing more about it. Eb x

    • The Tapas Cooking Experience was absolutely brilliant! I’m ready to do it with every next trip to Barcelona 🙂
      Guillermo and Cristina’s menus are always in tune with the season and what just happened to be at the market as they went shopping for the evening. It’s a fantastic idea and they’re both wonderful cooks and teachers. Definitely one to pin!

  8. I do love a good tapas. This recipe looks so simple and love the idea of using only local, organically farmed produce. Also like the idea of accompanying it with Vermouth! #tastytuesdays

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