Whole Roasted Squid With Tomatillo Salsa
Here’s a tasty room-temperature salad for lunch on a sunny fall day. You can roast the whole squid on a sheet pan in a hot oven, on the stovetop in a cast-iron pan or on a grill over coals. They cook quickly, and are done as soon as the tubes puff up and the tentacles are firm, which takes mere minutes. If you want them browned, leave them longer on the heat source, but they taste perfectly good if cooked pale.
- Serves: 4 persons
- ¾pound tomatillos, husks removed, halved or quartered (about 3 cups)
- 1jalapeño, halved lengthwise, then cut in large chunks
- 2cups roughly chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems, packed
- ½teaspoon salt
- 2tablespoons lime juice
- 1 ½pounds very small boiling potatoes
- Salt and pepper
- 4large poblano chiles
- 2pounds cleaned small squid
- 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as necessary
- 3medium avocados, cut into thick slices or chunks
- 1medium red onion, thinly sliced
- ½pound cherry tomatoes, halved
- Cilantro sprigs, for garnish (optional)
- Thinly sliced jalapeño, for garnish (optional)
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Warm corn tortillas, for serving (optional)
Step 1Make the salsa: Put the tomatillos, jalapeño, cilantro, salt and lime juice in a food processor or blender. Pulse until all components come together to make a rough purée. Transfer salsa to a serving dish.
Step 2Wash potatoes, put in a small pot, cover with 1 inch of water, add a teaspoon of salt and cook at a brisk simmer, covered, over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. When done, drain and set aside until cool enough to handle, then cut in half with a small sharp knife (leave skins on).
Step 3Meanwhile, roast the poblanos: Place whole chiles directly on flames of a full-blast stovetop burner, turning with tongs frequently until blackened and blistered all over. Alternatively, blacken chiles on a sheet pan as close to broiler as possible or on a grill over coals. Set aside to cool on a plate (do not wrap in plastic film — you want the chile flesh to stay firm).
Step 4To clean poblanos, wipe off their charred skin with paper towels or the back of a knife. Do not rinse; a few bits of char is O.K. Cut chiles lengthwise in half and scrape out seed and veins with knife. Cut chiles lengthwise into 3/8-inch-wide strips and set aside.
Step 5Heat oven to 450 degrees. Rinse squid and drain well. Pat dry on layers of paper towel or cloth kitchen towel. Transfer squid bodies to a sheet pan in one layer. Arrange tentacles on a smaller baking sheet. Season bodies generously on both sides with salt and pepper, and season tentacles. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil evenly over squid bodies and 1 tablespoon olive oil over tentacles. Place baking sheets in oven and roast until bodies have puffed and tentacles have firmed, about 6 to 8 minutes. (Alternatively, cook squid in batches in a cast-iron pan over high heat or on a grill over coals.)
Step 6To assemble the room-temperature salad, arrange potatoes on a large platter. Distribute the squid over potatoes, then scatter poblano strips, avocado, sliced onion and cherry tomatoes over squid. Sprinkle lightly with salt and drizzle with a little more olive oil, if desired. Add cilantro sprigs and jalapeño slices, if using, and garnish with lime wedges. Serve the salsa at the table, to be spooned over each serving, and warm tortillas, if desired.