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Charred Squid Skewers on Garlic Toast with Arugula

By Tom Douglas From Moveable Feast Season 1, Ep.1
Colin Clark

Servings: 6

A classic Moroccan marinade, charmoula combines the elements of a cilantro-parsley pesto with the heat of chile-based sambal oelek and the sultriness of smoked paprika.


For the squid

  • 1 lb. cleaned squid bodies, with or without tentacles
  • 12 or more 10-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained

For the charmoula marinade

  • 1-1/2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. sambal oelek
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the lemon vinaigrette

  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. minced shallot
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For serving

  • 5 oz. (5 cups) arugula leaves, stems trimmed, washed and dried
  • 6 slices grilled garlic bread
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish


Prepare the squid

  • If the squid bodies have fins (thin flaps) attached to them, slice off and discard them. Cut the bodies in half lengthwise so you have two long, tapered rectangles. Using your knife, lightly score the inside of each rectangle in a crosshatch pattern, not cutting all the way through. Repeat this procedure with all the squid bodies. To skewer the squid, thread one rectangle, lengthwise, onto a bamboo skewer, followed by 2 tentacles (if using), then another rectangle. Pick up another skewer and continue until all the squid bodies are used. (You may have some tentacles left over; you can thread them together on a skewer.) Place the skewers in a nonreactive pan.

Make the marinade

  • Combine the parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, sambal oelek, zest, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a bowl and slowly whisk in the oil. Pour the marinade over the squid, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Make the lemon vinaigrette

  • Combine the lemon juice and shallot in a small bowl and slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Grill the squid

  • Prepare a high gas or charcoal grill fire. While the grill heats, remove the skewers from the refrigerator, shake off the excess marinade and transfer them to a tray. Let sit at room temperature. Grill the skewers over direct heat, with the lid off. Turn the skewers a few times as needed, until the squid is cooked through, opaque, and charred in a few places, about 1 to 3 minutes total, depending on the heat of your fire. Do not overcook, or the squid will be tough. Remove the skewers from the grill.

Assemble and serve

  • Put the arugula in a bowl and toss it with about 2 Tbs. of the lemon vinaigrette. Arrange the garlic toasts on a platter. Top each toast with some arugula salad. Put 2 squid skewers on top of each toast and drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the skewers. Garnish with the lemon wedges.

Make ahead

  • You can cut the squid and assemble the skewers up to a day ahead, and store, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. You can also make the charmoula marinade and the lemon vinaigrette up to a day ahead and store, covered, in the refrigerator. Marinate the skewers 30 minutes before you plan to grill them.


Recipe adapted from Tom’s Big Dinners by Tom Douglas (Morrow, 2003)

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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • User avater
    WallaceBBille | 11/27/2018

    Absolutely delicious. This is a great technique and it brings out the flavour in all the vegetables.

  • User avater
    Maya_B | 06/08/2018

    I absolutely love this recipe! Such a simple way to prepare squid, and with lots of garlic too :)

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