Sunday, August 16, 2009

Squid, Octopus, Olive & Roasted Cherry Tomato Salad

Last week we stopped into Bocca mid-day to grab a few of the plates that seems to be above average for Old City what the professionals are saying about the cretivity coming out of the kitchen here.

One dish that really grabbed our attention was the octopus salad; served with an brushed olive glaze and little roasted cherry tomatoes with crispy tomato-skin 'flags' still attached, it was instant inspiration for a great summer seafood starter. The chef came out to ask us if we liked the dish and when we pried for his technique on the roasted tomatoes, he playfully laughed and said it was a secret.

We just so happen to be neck-deep in cherry tomatoes thanks to the Sweet 100 plant in the container garden, so we figured why not try and recreate those little garnishes...and while we're at it, thrown in a squid & octopus salad to boot.

Here's the results of Elizabeth's experiments with the tomatoes. A little bit of oil and a slow roast kept the body intact while crisping up the skin...getting them to stay upright was the only challenge.

As for the seafood, we purchased some squid caps and baby octopus from Whole Foods. Marinated in some olive oil then flashed on a hot grill pan and sprinkled with mint, they turned out just right.

Finally, we tossed the squid & octopus in with some kalamatas, a little bit of torn arugula and laid it on a spread of tapenade we made with the leftover olives. Finally, our cheery cherry tomatoes studded the salad plate...It wasn't as pretty as Bocca's, but the flavors were pretty darn close and those little tomatoes will probably make a repeat appearance later this summer.

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