What’s great about this panzanella is that it’s a complete meal (greens, protein, bread, and veggies) with lots of flavor, and it’s super colorful, all of which makes it a perfect one-dish recipe for entertaining. In Italy, we make it with octopus, but at home it’s easier to make with squid. If you’re not a fan of the tentacles, just use rings.
- 1 pound cleaned calamari
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 cups stale bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cups pitted kalamata olives, halved
- 3 cups baby arugula
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Rinse the calamari, making sure the bodies are cleaned and the cartilage is removed. Pat dry with paper towels. Slice the bodies into 1/2-inch rings and leave the tentacles intact.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skiller over medium-high heat until a whisper of smoke comes off the pan. Add the garlic and cook just for 30 seconds. Add the calamari, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the red pepper flakes to the skillet. Cook, stirring often, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the calamari is opaque. Be careful not to overcook it. Using a slotted spoon, remove the calamari to a plate and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, combine the bread cubes, the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and the Parmigiano-Reggiano; mix well to coat. Scatter the cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Return the toasted cubes to the bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, and arugula.
- Tear the basil into small pieces and add it ot the bowl. Drizzle the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice and the extra-virgin olive oil around the edge of the bowl and toss well to marry all the ingredients. Add the calamari to the salad along with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Toss once more and serve.