There’s a lot going on in this salad, but it’s all very well balanced. Squid has a wonderful texture when it is sautéed quickly, but it can get rubbery very fast, so watch the timing carefully. It is almost still raw, just a little warmed up kiss it on the heat, as we chefs like to say. Squid can be bland, though, so it needs a strong supporting cast. Bacon is always good for that, and the combination of fresh ginger and raw apple adds a spicy tart note that brightens up the entire dish. Serve with a Riesling.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces bacon, cut into ½-inch-wide strips
- 8 cleaned squid, sliced into thin rings
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Dash of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (use a Microplane)
- 1 bunch arugula
To make the Vinaigrette
- Combine the tahini, sesame oil, water, vinegar, and lemon juice in a blender and blend on high until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a jar or small bowl.
- Heat a large 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and sauté for 5 minutes, or until it is slightly crispy and most of the fat has rendered out. Transfer to a paper towel to drain, then transfer to a bowl.
- Remove all but 2 teaspoons of the bacon fat from the skillet. Heat the remaining fat over medium-high heat. Add the squid and sauté, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and sauté for another minute, then immediately remove the squid from the pan and add to the bacon.
- Using a Microplane, grate about half of the Granny Smith apple into a bowl, avoiding the core. Mix 2 tablespoons of the grated apple with the grated ginger. (I make this toward the end so that the freshly grated apple doesn’t oxidize and turn brown.)
- To serve, place a small bunch of arugula in the bottom of each of four shallow bowls. Place the squid mix over the arugula. Spoon about a tablespoon of the tahini vinaigrette over the squid in each bowl, spoon a little of the apple-ginger mixture over the squid, and serve immediately.