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Thursday
Mar292012

Local Calamari Pizza with Arugula

Photo and text by KARA DiCAMILLO


It seems that over the past few years many people I know who never ate fish are now eating it on a regular basis. One of the biggest reasons is because of healthy marks that fish and shellfish provide. Because it’s more in demand that means that fishing sustainably is even more important.

In fall 2011, Shaw’s announced it was launching a sustainable seafood program in partnership with the Maine Stewardship Council and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. This ensures that the seafood Shaw’s sells is globally certified and locally verified, giving consumers the confidence that we are buying seafood from sustainable fisheries and supporting our local economy. Each piece of fish that Shaw’s sells is traceable back to its source.

I have bought Maine shrimp from Shaw’s during the past six months, so I was prepared with my recipe when I visited the store this past week. However, the store didn’t have Maine shrimp this time. After walking through the grocery store, collecting the other items on my grocery list and thinking about what I could possible cook, I ventured back to the seafood counter and inquired about the squid. I was told the squid was sourced from a dock in Boston, so I bought it.

Squid is known for its protein and potassium, boosts the immune system and helps lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. While you might not usually think to cook it (I know I don’t), this recipe turned out to be quite easy and delicious.

I usually make my own pizza dough, but you can certainly buy your favorite one as well. I’ve found dough from local bakeries in Shaw’s and the local company Top This! pizza crusts can be found in your local supermarkets as well.

Local Calamari Pizza with Arugula
Serves 2-4 

Half pound of squid, cut into rings (tentacles optional)
2 lemons, juiced
Half cup of olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pizza dough or crust
Dusting of cornmeal
2 tablespoons of garlic olive oil (or olive oil)
1 tablespoon of crushed red paper flakes
2 teaspoons of capers
Quarter cup of sliced olives
1 tablespoon of oregano
Half cup of parmesan cheese
1 cup of arugula

In a mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, the olive oil and garlic cloves. Add the squid and marinate in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. The longer you marinate, the more tender it is, so I prepared this first thing in the morning and it was ready to go that evening.

Heat your pizza stone on the highest temperature your oven will allow — mine is 550 degrees — about an hour before you are ready to eat. In the meantime, sauté the squid and its marinade in a pan on medium heat for about a minute, or just as the tentacles begin to curl. You don’t want the squid to be rubbery, so make sure to keep an eye on your time. Drain the squid, reserving about 3 tablespoons of the liquid — this is going to be used on your pizza — and set aside.

Once your oven is heated, dust your pizza peel with the cornmeal — this is important, otherwise your pizza will stick — and prepare your pizza dough or crust on your peel. Brush the garlic oil so that the crust is evenly coated and sprinkle with the crushed red pepper flakes. Top your pizza with the squid, capers, olives, and oregano. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the marinade over the top and then finish with the parmesan cheese.

Slide the pizza onto your pizza stone and cook for about 5-8 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is, or until the crust is a light golden brown. When your pizza is finished, remove it from the oven by sliding it from the stone back onto your pizza peel. Top with the arugula and remaining marinade and let it rest for about a minute or two before slicing.

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