Salade D’Encornets aux Tomates et Concombre
You may recall that I shared some photos of darling heirloom tomatoes and heirloom cherry tomatoes that were bought especially to make this squid salad from Bouchon. I prepared this as a starter for a small dinner party and my guests really enjoyed it. In particular, the super juicy and sweet heirloom cherry tomatoes livened and tied the flavors together. Freshness is key here and little is done to mask the ingredients’ natural flavors so this is a great way to feature the best tomatoes you can get your hands on.
Bouchon’s Marinated Squid Salad Recipe with English Cucumber and Tomatoes
Small squid (2-3 inches long)
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Heirloom tomatoes or vine-ripened tomatoes
Chopped Italian parsley + whole leaves for garnish
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Thinly shaved red onions
Clean the squid and separate the body from the tentacles. Cut the body into rings and spread the pieces onto a paper towel to dry.
Heat a sauté pan with some canola oil over high heat. Season the squid with s&p and sauté the tentacles briefly, then add the rings and sauté for another quick 30 seconds or until the rings turn opaque. Drain on paper towels, then place into a bowl.
Drizzle squid with olive oil, add vinegar, toss, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, peel, half, and de-seed the cucumber. Sprinkle with salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Afterwards, rinse the cucumber, pat dry, cut into bâtons, and refrigerate.
Slice tomatoes thinly and place on a plate. Season with s&p. Drizzle with olive oil.
Toss cucumber, cherry tomatoes, shallots, parsley, chives, red onion, and squid together. Place the mixture atop the tomato slices and garnish with parsley leaves. Drizzle plate with more extra virgin olive oil. Serve cold.
I was fortunate to find small squid and they were very tender and tasty. I suppose larger squid could work but the tougher texture might contrast too greatly from the rest of the ingredients. Overall, this was a deliciously fresh and simple salad but the flavors could have been better balanced. Since the the ingredients were quite mild, I found that I had to season heavily and added more vinegar than he instructs to. Even so, the cucumber fell unnoticed next to the squid while the onion was a bit overpowering (given, my mediocre knife skills prevented me from shaving them thinly enough).
I would definitely make this salad again when I get my hands on some ripe heirloom tomatoes but I will create my variation on the ingredients. I’m thinking maybe radishes or a fennel bulb instead of the red onion. I tried an octopus salad last week with diced potato in it. The combination was surprisingly yummy so I might also give that a try.