Calamari Salad with Red Onion and Fennel

I love seafood and this calamari salad is one of my favorite recipes! Calamari is an Italian word for squid and usually used to refer to cooked squid. In the same manner we refer to beef as cow’s meat.

Calamari is a good source of complete protein, copper, selenium and zinc, as well as vitamin B12. Most squid species are resilient to fishing pressure because they have a short life span, reproduce early and abundantly. They are also low in mercury. When cooking squid either cook it very fast or longer than 20 minutes – anything in between will make it rubbery.

Health Benefits Of Red Onion

Red onion in this calamari salad adds flavor and beautiful color. Red onion, like other members of onion family, is rich in sulfur-containing compounds that result in its pungent odor and taste as well as many other health benefits. The outer layers of the onion are the highest in beneficial phytonutrients like quercetin and anthocyanins, so peel off as little flesh as possible. Quercetin, as research shows, provides us with better protection from oxidative stress when consumed as food rather than as a purified supplement. Quercetin also reduces allergic reactions by reducing histamine production. Regular onion consumption, of any color, is associated with lower risk of many cancers.

Health Benefits Of Fennel

Although fennel seeds have the highest content of medicinal constituents, the whole plant can be used to stimulate digestion, relieve gas, and increase intestinal motility. Fennel is high in vitamin C, quercetin, discussed above, and several essential oils that give fennel its sweet and spicy flavor.

calamari salad

Calamari Salad with Red Onion and Fennel


1- 1 ½ lb squid, body and tentacles, cleaned
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
½ big red onion, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
¼ cup dill, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter for frying
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cut the body parts of squid across into ½ inch wide rings
  2. In a skillet warm up the butter over medium to high heat and add the squid in batches so as not to crowd the skillet. Salt and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until the rings and the tentacles curl up. Take out of the pan and let the liquids drain using a strainer.
  3. Place onion and fennel in a medium sized serving bowl. Add the calamari.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine together olive oil, vinegar, and dill. Pour the mixture over the salad and mix well.
  5. Adjust the seasoning, cover, and let cool off in the fridge before serving.
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