Grilled Calamari in Brown Butter

This easy and tasty recipe of grilled calamari with roasted garlic, olives, and capers comes from Tim Tibbitts of Flying Fish in the Bahamas.

Apr 6 2015, 4:00pm

"This recipe, in one form or another, has become a signature for every restaurant I have ever worked for."

Servings: 6
Prep: 2 hours 25 minutes
Total: 25 minutes

2 lbs cleaned calamari tubes and tentacles
3 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
½ medium red onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon sambal oelek chili paste
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ lb unsalted butter
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 heads whole roasted garlic cloves
¼ cup capers
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and cut in half lengthwise
6 ripe plum tomatoes, insides removed and cut into small dice
½ cup chopped parsley
3 whole lemons, cut in half and grilled face-down


1. Make sure calamari is well-cleaned, removing the quill from the tubes and the beak and eyes from the tentacles. Cut the calamari across the tube, leaving a small piece attached. The finished cut should resemble a slinky.

2. Place the prepared calamari, chopped fresh garlic, red onion, sambal and olive oil together in a bowl to marinate for a couple of hours.

3. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pot, cook the unsalted butter over medium heat until the milk solids begin to change to a golden brown colour and the butter begins to smell nutty. The longer you can hold out before taking it off the heat, the better the flavor you will achieve, but be careful as it burns quickly and turns bitter if you go too far. Remove from the heat and pour into a metal bowl to disperse the heat and stop the cooking process. Do not refrigerate unless as a leftover.

4. Remove calamari from marinade and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Grill over very high heat for 45 seconds per side, until the calamari begins to curl and tighten up. Do not overcook the calamari or it will become tough as rubber bands.

5. Reheat some of the butter with roasted garlic cloves, capers, olives, and tomato just until hot. Place grilled calamari on the plate and spoon butter and accompaniments over the top. Serve with parsley and grilled lemon to finish.

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