We had a class at Gretchens with chef Peter Belknap the other night, the theme of the evening being “French Riviera.” Of course, there was cream sauce involved, and plenty of cheese and breadcrumbs as well. But one dish that I thought was particularly fun was a salad of white beans, pasta and squid with a mustardy dressing. I love squid, but I never cook it at home (my few attempts, many years ago, were rather rubbery). This was a nice presentation, and the flavors and textures worked well together. I may have to give cooking squid another try.
I got to prep the squid – apparently having small fingers is an asset in this business. This was frozen, cleaned squid without the tentacles, very easy to work with.
Salade de cocos aux scupions (Bean & Squid Salad)
- 3 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- olive oil
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
- 6 roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup shell pasta, cooked, cooled, tossed with oil
- 1 pound squid, cleaned and sliced into thick rings
- 1/3 cup shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup shredded basil
- 2 Tbsp shredded fresh mint
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Fry the onions and garlic in olive oil until soft, add the tomatoes and cook them in, then add the beans and heat through.
Mix the dressing in a large salad bowl. Add the shallots, spinach and herbs. Pour the hot beans over and stir to wilt the greens. Mix in the pasta.
Fry the squid in olive oil until just opaque – you do NOT want to overcook it, unless you have a fondness for rubber bands. Salt the squid and add it to the salad bowl. Mix, and let the salad sit up to 4 hours before serving.