08.07.13: dinner (squid with burst tomatoes, via Tom Colicchio.)

Squid with Burst Tomatoes

Squid with Burst Tomatoes

Last week was not particularly enjoyable: besides being grey and kind of cold for August, a succession of events left me feeling pretty damn defeated by the end of the week. In an effort to boost our spirits halfway through, I did what I usually do when in need of some self-care: I poked around on the internet for some recipe ideas. I didn’t need to look for that long, as a fellow blogger had that day posted a recipe from Tom Colicchio for a salad of squid with burst tomatoes from the latest Food + Wine. 

Michael was all for it when I sent him the link. But to be completely honest, I kind of didn’t care at that point, because in my mind I was determined to make it. (Given his love of squid, I really didn’t think this would be much of a hard sell in any case.)

There isn’t much to this dish, aside from chopping garlic, slicing squid, and plucking about a cup’s worth of basil leaves. The tomatoes you leave whole, as they will slowly cook with the garlic in the oil and begin to fall apart, and then the squid follows and cooks for another five minutes. Michael expressed some concern that the heat needed to go up to avoid it turning tough, but honestly, it really didn’t: the squid was perfectly tender when served. Chef Colicchio finishes the dish with the basil and some white wine vinegar, but I was in the mood for a splash of white wine instead. I also upped the garlic amount specified because it’s what I like.

On its own, it’s spectacular, but I think it would make an excellent summer pasta sauce if you were so inclined.

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

adapted slightly from Tom Colicchio’s recipe for Food + Wine

Serves 2-4, depending on how hungry

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb cleaned squid, with ears removed from bodies and tentacles sliced in half
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 cup basil leaves, washed and dried

Add the olive oil to a large, heavy skillet and bring the olive oil to moderate heat. Add the garlic and tomatoes, and cook for about 4 minutes or until they begin to burst. Add the squid and cook over moderately low heat for an additional 5 minutes. Add the white wine and cook for another minute or so, and then stir in the basil. Season well with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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5 comments
  1. Where did you get the squid? All I’ve seen in my markets is frozen and I’m skeptical that it would come out as beautifully as what you made, which I am completely drooling over.

    • According to my beloved Barcelona Wine Bar cookbook, we’re actually entering squid season so if you have a good fish store nearby, it may be worth investigating. If you can’t find good-looking squid, I would wager that shrimp would be a delicious substitute.

  2. shannon said:

    elizabeth, i still can’t get this out of my head: it must be fate, because as it turns out, i have this magazine! I picked it up prior to seeing your post and then hadn’t had a chance to look through it until yesterday. i like how you adapted it, so now it’s a toss-up of which version to make. perhaps both, then.

    • And that is what we call kismet. :) The big difference between the two is I like a little wine in my sauce and I REALLY like a lot of garlic. What’s so great about Tom Colicchio’s recipes is that they adapt well to these preferences.

  3. shannon said:

    i like a little wine in my sauce, too. and soups, depending on the recipe; its gives it a nice extra bit of depth, and i enjoy that. which means i’m leaning towards your version, but you’re right: his recipes are so straightforward that they always lay a nice groundwork for those of us who can’t help but to mess with things. :)

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