Hooked to Cooked: grilled squid
Not only is calamari absolutely delicious whether grilled or fried, but the good news is it’s an environmentally-friendly seafood choice. So go ahead, eat it with gusto and a clear conscience.
What is jigging?
The method used to fish for squid is called jigging. Jigging is similar to line-fishing whereby a fishing line is lowered from the decks of a fishing vessel. These lines have brightly coloured jigs with barbs attached, which attract and then snag the squid. The jigs are designed to attract and catch squid and not much else so this fishing method is highly selective.
As with line-fishing, the bad news is that jigging can cause minor damage to the ocean floor due to anchors which are dropped for the fishing to take place. Lost fishing gear can also harm marine creatures but the extent of damage that jigging and line-fishing cause is far less than some other fishing methods, where fishing gear can sometimes do irreparable damage.
Squid usually live for about a year. They reproduce fairly quickly compared to other marine species and this, coupled with a highly selective fishing method, means that calamari is firmly on the SASSI green list.
We’ve teamed up with SASSI and seafood champion, Pete Goffe-Wood to bring you this gorgeous recipe for Grilled Squid with Pumpkin Seed Pesto. Download print-friendly version.
1 cup pumpkin seed pesto (see recipe below or you can use any pesto you like)
Ingredients for the pesto:
2 cups pumpkin seeds
3 green chillies
15g lemon zest
6 cloves garlic
3 tbsp black mustard seeds, roasted
3 tbsp coriander seeds, roasted
80ml lemon juice
200ml pumpkin seed oil
Salt and pepper
1. To make the pesto, put all the pesto ingredients except the oil into a pestle and mortar and grind into a rough paste. Thin the mixture with the oil. Season the pesto with salt and pepper.
2. Blanche, skin and de-seed the tomatoes.
3. Dice the remaining tomato flesh.
4. Season the squid with salt and pepper and grill on a hot griddle plate or sauté in a fiercely hot wok.
5. Remove the squid from the heat and place in a large bowl. Add one tablespoon of the pesto followed by the chopped tomatoes and mix everything together.
6. Add the rocket just before serving, toss and plate, garnishing with the rest of the pesto.
Remember, whether you are buying raw seafood to cook at home or eating out at your favourite seafood restaurant, always have your SASSI pocket guide handy and remember to ask the three important questions needed to make a sustainable seafood choice:
What is it?
Where is it from?
How was it caught or farmed?
You can also SMS the name of the fish to SASSI’s FishMS number (079 499 8795) to find out whether you can tuck in, think twice or avoid altogether.
For more recipes starring our green-listed friends from under the sea, check out our Hooked to Cooked series.