Weighting the calamari with a skillet on the grill is a good way to give it a nice char and keep it from curling up as it cooks. Calamari is often sold previously frozen, and this can be watery, so make sure you pat it very dry before grilling. If the calamari is fresh and the skin has been left on in good condition, leave it that way: it brings extra color and taste to the salad.
- 1 pound medium calamari, tubes and tentacles
- 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
- Kosher salt
- Peperoncino flakes
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch rings
- 4 ears corn, shucked
- 12 ounces small tomatoes (such as Campari), quartered
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Toss the well-dried calamari in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the garlic. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a big pinch of peperoncino. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
Heat a grill or a two-burner grill pan to medium heat. Brush the onion rings and corn with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and season with salt. Grill, turning occasionally, until both are charred and the onion is tender, 4 to 5 minutes for the onion, 5 to 6 minutes for the corn. Remove to a cutting board to cool slightly.
Increase heat to medium high. Lay the calamari on the grill, and weight with a large, heavy skillet. Cook, turning once, until it’s charred and just cooked through, about 5 minutes in all. Remove to the cutting board.
Cut the calamari bodies into thick rings. Add to a serving bowl with the tentacles. Add the red onions. Cut the corn kernels from the cob directly into the bowl. Add the tomatoes and basil. Season with salt and peperoncino. Drizzle with the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil and the vinegar. Toss well, and serve.
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes (includes marinating time)