The season is hotting up, in both senses of the word. Mr Tranquillo, my current Cabana Boy, refuses to don the appropriate costume or demeanor as he attempts to get the pool functioning in time for a sizzling hot weekend. My adult daughter sips her white wine as she ponders the thought of her father as Cabana Boy. She announces that she doesn’t want to go there, the thought is just too ‘gross’.
Whenever these hot evenings string out for too long, dinner preparation must be super fast. I had calamari fritti on my mind. As my daughter left before the meal, her black eyes glared from the car ” Don’t send me a photo, it’s not fair!”.
These lovely molluscs were acquired from the Queen Victoria Market on the best day of the week, Tuesday. In terms of Melbourne’s catch, this is the first day of the week, when the fish are still jumping fresh. The fishmongers at the Vic Market are happy to clean your purchase.
Calamari Fritti con Rugola in Fretta ( for two)
- 2 big handfuls of wild rocket/rugola
- 3 spring onions, sliced, including green end
- 1 chilli, chopped finely
- 1 garlic clove, chopped finely
- a little olive oil
- 400g freshly prepared calamari, sliced, including tentacles.
- salt and pepper
- five spice powder
- neutral tasting cooking oil, such as canola, for frying.
- Prepare the salad base. Arrange the rocket leaves and toss with the spring onions on a serving platter.
- Make a quick dressing. Crush the chilli and garlic with some salt in a mortar and pestle. Add some olive oil. Lightly dress the leaves.
- Heat a fryingpan or wok and add some oil. Toss the calamari slices in cornflour mixed with salt and five spice powder. Cook the calamari in batches, tossing well, for around one minute. Using tongs, drain well on paper towels.
- When all the calamari is fried, toss through the salad leaves.
Serve with lemon wedges.
It is heartening to know that calamari is a sustainable seafood here in Victoria. The rubbery frozen tubes sold in supermarkets are not worth buying unless you fancy eating fried condoms. These usually come from Asia or the USA. If you do choose to buy these from the supermarket, ask about the source.
The following is a great site to check out the sustainability of Australian seafood. http://goodfishbadfish.com.au/
Song plant. Ooo Ooo, Ooo Ooo Ooo, Ooo Ooo, Ooo Ooo, Ooo, Hot Summer Nights.