Skip navigation and jump to content.

 the goods

3 calamari tubes per person

1 fennel/ anise bulb

1 can cannellini beans

1/4 preserved lemon

fresh parsley

lemon juice

olive oil

harissa (see below)

active time: 20 minutes


you will need:

  • skillet or grill

serve with:

view the 'turn on the sun' newsletter which featured this recipe

baby calamari stuffed with cannellini beans and preserved lemon

and topped with a spicy little harissa

these babies are so easy. and they make you look awfully clever. you buy the baby calamari, mix the stuffing. use the leftover stuffing as a salad, grill the calamari for 3-4 minutes and you're done. grill the scallops at the same time and you're a hero!

here's what you do:

the calamari: buy around 3 tubes per person, run your finger around the inside to make sure that all of the cartilage has been removed...rinse them out and pat them dry

the stuffing: mix 1 tin of cannellini beans (rinsed and drained) with 1/2 cup parsley (chopped) and the rind from a 1/4 preserved lemon (finely diced)...12 grinds of the pepper mill, a splash of olive oil and you're done. now, use a teaspoon and fill each calamari tube (you'll only get a couple of spoons in each tube). douse the stuffed calamari in a little more oil and keep in the fridge until you're ready to cook them (this can be done hours ahead)

the salad: mix the leftover stuffing mix with some finely sliced fennel (anise)...about 1/2 a bulb...or the lot if you don't want leftovers...a dash more olive oil before you serve it all (maybe some fresh oregano leaves and lemon juice)...and that's it!

grilling: make sure that the calamari are lightly coated in olive oil so they don't stick to the grill. get the bbq good and hot, place the tubes on the grill. cook 2 minutes, turn, cook another 2 minutes. done!

oh! wait...harissa. okay, lets make this easy. soak about 1/3 cup chili flakes (seeds and all) in 2 tablespoons of warm water. set aside. measure 1 tspn of each: coriander seeds, fennel (or caraway) seeds, ground cumin, sea salt, black pepper. mix these in a grinder or blender. add the chili flakes and 2 tablespoons of chopped mint. pulse the blender then add the juice of 1/2 a lemon and 1/3 cup olive oil and pulse again. done!

before you taste this, beware: it's bloody hot! harissa is an african chili sauce. the faint of heart can calm it down by adding a 1/3 cup tomato paste...or serve it alongside some tzatziki

drizzle a little harissa over the calamari when you serve it