- 5 beetroot (850gm)
- 2 small onions (200gm), unpeeled
- 1 head of garlic, plus an extra
- 2 garlic cloves, halved
- 2 calamari (about 600gm each)
- 350 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp coarsely chopped mint leaves
Preheat oven to 200C. Wrap each beetroot in foil and roast on a baking tray with onions and whole garlic, turning occasionally, until garlic and onions are cooked through (40-50 minutes for garlic, 1-1¼ hours for onions). Remove garlic and onions and continue baking the beetroot until tender (40-45 minutes). Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, pull tentacles of calamari from the head, cut the legs below the eyes and discard the beak and guts. Reserve tentacles and, using your fingers, remove remaining guts and clear cartilage from inside the calamari. Rinse calamari, leaving the skin on.
Heat 250ml olive oil in a large saucepan over low-medium heat until warm, but not hot. Add garlic halves, then calamari including tentacles. Cover with a lid, cook for 5 minutes, then uncover, turn calamari, cover again and continue cooking, shaking the pan occasionally so the calamari doesn’t stick, until cooked halfway (5 minutes). Remove lid, season with sea salt flakes and stir. Cover again and continue cooking until just cooked through (5 minutes).
Meanwhile, dry-roast fennel seeds until golden and fragrant (1-2 minutes), then lightly crush with a mortar and pestle to break them up a little and place in a bowl. Peel beetroot and slice into 3mm-4mm-thick rounds, then into 1cm-wide strips and add to fennel seeds. Peel onions and cut into thin strips and set aside. Cut the top of the garlic head and squeeze all the roasted garlic flesh over the beetroot. Whisk lemon juice and white wine vinegar in a small bowl with remaining olive oil, season to taste and mix with beetroot. Add onion and mint just before serving and barely toss through so they don’t stain, then transfer to a serving dish.
Transfer calamari to a board and cut into 1cm-thick slices. Place on beetroot salad and serve drizzled with a few tablespoons of cooking oil and juices from the pan, season well with sea salt.
Recipe from Gourmet Traveller ( https://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/recipes/chefs-recipes/calamari-cooked-in-olive-oil-with-spiced-beetroot-salad-8299)